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The Collected Poems of 
T. W. H. Crosland 



The Collected Poems of 

T. W. H. Crosland 



Donde una pueria se cieffa, otra se abre " 

Cervantes 



London 

Martin Seeker 

Number Five John Street 
Adelphi 



First published 19 17 



The portrait which forms the frontispiece to 

this volume is from a photograph 

by E. O. Hoppi 



Note I'^^l, 



^he pieces hereby assembled represent a period of 
production ranging over a quarter of a century. A 
number of those referring to the war are reprinted 
from ' War Poems by X ' {Martin Seeker, 1916). 
Others are now published for the first time. Lest 
the title ' Collected Poems ' be taken in its post- 
mortem association, the author desires respectfully 
to say that he is still alive. 



3 6 36 lb 



Contents 



POEMS 

Woman, 3 

Swan Song, 4 

The Weeping, 9 

Payments, 10 

A Song of Death, 18 

The Ballad of Poor Honesty, 23 

Faitan, 28 

SONNETS 
April 23, 31 
For Remembrance, 32 
For Algernon Charles Swinburne, 33 
For Stephen Phillips, 34 
Ubi Bene, 35 

The Baby in the Ward, 36 
Titanic, 37 
Valour, 38 
Lovers, 39 

On the Death of Edward VII, 40 
The Promise, 41 
Ulster, 42 



vu 



Charing Cross, 43 
For H.M.C., 44 

After, 45 

Dawn, 46 

Cor Cordium, 47 

" Votes for Women," 48 

For a Rich Man who is said to " Believe in Poetry," 49 

Leda, 50 

The "Student," 51 

Antarctic, 52 

Shepherd's Bush, 53 

Death, 54 

The End, 55 . 

For the Time, 56 

RED ROSE 

Red Rose, 59 ,<> 

WAR POEMS 
War, 79 

A Song of Pride for England, 81 
Sons, 85 

Unto the End, 88 
Post Proelium, 90 
Marching On, 93 
Sergeant Death, 96 
Kitchener, 99 

For Righteousness' Sake, 100 
John Travers Corn well, 102 
Steel-True and Blade-Straight, 104 

viii 



Sursum, io6 

The Full Share, io8 

Killed, 112 

A Chant of Affection, 114 

The Riddle, 119 

A Rhyme of Gaffer D , 121 

The Ass, 125 

The Diners, 126 

July I, 1916, 129 

To the Kaiser, 131 

191 2, 132 

Towards the Reckoning, 136 

Verdun, 137 

The DubHn Rising, 138 

Wounded, 140 

Come Young Lads First, 142 

The Rhyme of the Beast, 145 

Gaudeamus, 147 

For Whom it may Concern, 149 

In the Train, 151 

Then, 154 

Slain, 155 

MISCELLANEOUS PIECES 

Mulier, 159 

From the Chimney Corner, 160 

The Witling, 162 

The Little Old Knife, 164 

Thames, 166 



iz 



The Eagle, 167 

Sigillum, 168 

Cromwell, 169 

To the Little Muse, 171 

Audrey, 173 

The Yeoman, 175 

The Finer Spirit, 176 

Materiel, 183 

Strike, 184 

Iris and the Water-Lilies, 185 

Brandenburg, 190 

To John Bunyan, 191 

Epitaph, 193 

Christmas, 194 

The Christmas Tree, 196 

Graves in France, 197 

The Lonely Man, 198 

The Admiring Admirer, 200 

Recipe, 201 

In Harness, 202 

The Good Conceit, 203 

October 21, 204 

Thou, 206 



POEMS 



Woman 



Four pomegranates grow for me, 
On my true love's silver tree. 

One I have tasted, and my mouth 
Is filled with fragrance of the South ; 

One, which burns with holy red. 
He shall give me when we wed ; 

The third from its branch shall be torn 
When our little son is born ; 

The fourth, which is most delicate, 
Kinder than Love, sharper than Fate, 

Fairer than fruit of Samarkand, 
You shall put in my dead hand. 



>•• • * , 



Swan Song 



Who makes an Eden must set you in it, 

And who hath stars of crystal brimmed and bright, 

Planets of rose, 

Or moons of amber lit 

From lordly lending suns of chrysolite, 

And beautiful as those 

That ache to furious Saturn. 

For you are silver dawns 

And silver rain 

And silver snows : 

And the prodigious night 

Of balms and dews and darknesses and dreams 

And tranced forests and enchanted streams, 

And unimaginable lawns. 

And unlatched lattices 

(Enlamped and tinkling) 

Suddenly shut-to, 

And snaring silences : 

Eternally for you 

The age-young seas are blue 

And the great peaks rose-white. 



The nightingale 

Which doth the world assail 

Athrob with old immitigable pain 

And music past her wit, 

And ambushed in the cedars, spilleth no note 

Or fret or flurry or strain 

Or magical sweet pattern 

That is not yours ; 

Neither shall she, the minstrel, who doth sit 

Poised in extreme height 

And propped by April azures. 

So to fling 

The noise of her aspiring 

At angel feet 

And on immortal floors. 

You know the men and women who are dead 

Each by his name and each by her dim name, 

And you do count them as you count spent roses 

From the first down 

And till the last one closes : 

Time-which-hath-been, and cannot be, hath spread 

Beside the river of Time-which-is, a town 

Of echoless dwelling-places where inhabit 

Shadows that shine or bleed 

And creep and climb and falter and are sped. 

And are yet shadows, and shall never know 

More than they knew. 

And never more may say 

More than they said. 



And yours is their imperishable joy 

And yours their woe, 

And on your head 

Fall ruth and rapture : 

You are both quick and dead, 

While they. 

Whom luring Hfe never again shall capture, 

Are only dead. 

There was a maid who had just heard of love. 

And an old man who had forgotten lust, 

A barren wife whose heart was motherhood, 

A wanton who could think on naught but good ; 

A thief who still 

Had honour, and a liar 

To whom his lie 

Was whip and fire 

And an abhorr'd 

And grievous uttering : 

I heard a bride say in the night 

The world is builded on delight, 

I saw the murderer adore a sky 

Of summer and without fleck 

What time the hangman grabbled at his neck : 

They told me of a princess who had thrown 

From her sweet state, hot kisses to the dust, 

And of a peacock lord 

Who darkly understood 

He was a clown. 

And of a clown who surely was a king 



But minded apes. 

All loveliness, all ill, 

All innocence, all ruin and all dread, 

All glory and all disgrace 

Lifted themselves like ghosts, 

In infinite multitude, 

Innumerable hosts ; 

And all these shapes 

Were yours. 

And they had looks like flowers 

And manifold soft graces, 

And ever in their faces 

I could trace. 

Somewhere, your face. 

O secret, consecrate 

Inviolable spirit, elate 

And amorous and proud 

With blanched plumes that shroud 

And glitteringly conceal 

The flame, and the vermeil 

And whiteness not for sight. 

Who to this garden of tears 

And the enthroned spheres 

Art essence and breath and light ; 

Who blessest for the blest 

And for the lowHest, 

And standest on heaven's rim 

Out-staturing seraphim. 

And sittest by poor men's fires 



And givest to the wicked their desires, 

And whom to gaze upon 

That which is done is done 

For ever, and shall be 

Unto eternity ; 

In the translated clay 

Bathed out of Paphia, 

In love and laughter and might 

And the seven souls of right 

And seventy souls of wrong, 

In birth and sorrow and song 

And terror and despair, 

And all things fine and fair 

Whether of gold or green. 

The wonder have I seen, 

The immanence flashing by. 

And, slain with it, I die ! 



The Weeping 



Through height on height 

Of the far Heaven, 

Which is a firmament 

And infinite air 

And bosom of light, 

Great seraphs swept 

On joyful errands bent ; 

And in the seven 

Sweet spaces 

Where blessedness doth begin, 

The cherubin 

Holily strayed, 

And shined and slept. 

And shined again. 

And none that were 

Engardened of those bright places 

Sorrowed or wept 

Or knew the use of tears. 

It had been so a million, million years 

And then, 

The world was made. 



Payments 



I 



" I will come to you 
Across white dawns, 
In the night of stars, 
In the morning blue. 



" Like a shining dove 
Alone in heaven. 
In your sweet place 
I shall see you move.' 



Heart, it befell. 
When I came, when I came. 
You laughed ghost-white 
In the lamps of hell. 



10 



II 

Fairer than the fair 
And than young moons, 
Thus to be lodged 
With sharp despair. 



O innocent, 

Unblemish'd and without spot 
And so without defence ; 
For you the punishment. 



For you the rod 

And the impitying stroke, 

You loveliness, 

You city of God ! 



II 



Ill 

You had no tears 
Women may weep, 
Nor silver easing sigh 
Nor fortifying fears, 



No trepidance : 

Only the dumb amaze 

Of undeceivedness 

Chanced upon all mischance ; 



Nor agonies 

Nor sorrow unto death, 

That you should fall on your face 

In seven Gethsemanes. 



12 



IV 

Your punctual candle lit, 
Your bowl kept bright, 
Your thoughts as still 
As the lily in it. 



A curtain of blue, 

A bed of cypress wood 

And ivory, 

And one great star for you. 



And cloths of fair 
White, and cups of gold — 
And in your heart the knife 
And winter in your hair. 



13 



How should you pray 

Or call to the saints, 

Who had small need of prayer 

Even as they ? 



How should you guess 
That over you would fail 
The pinion shadowless 
Even for a minute's space ? 



How could the air 
Forget its kindnesses, 
And the earth its love 
And your angel his care ? 



VI 

There was a foul 
And livid, living thing 
That wept and died, 
Having no soul. 



The lips of it 

Scarlet with lies 

And impudent with leers, 

And on its forehead writ 



Evil and bale ; 

And it hath fellowship 

Malefic as itself, 

But clad in cunninger mail. 



IS 



VII 

For ever, walls of fire 
And chasms of swords 
'Twixt your green country 
And the world's mire. 



It were a sin 
That echo or breath 
Should reach to your tower 
From tents they riot in. 



Yet their desert 
Lifts them, and deviously 
From these and thence 
Cometh the hurt. 



i6 



VIII 

Into your book, 
Jewelled with flame 
And clamped with honour, 
Who shall look ? 



Borders of woe, 
Letters of blood, 
Upon a page 
Of milk and snow. 



This justice for the just 
Thereby you read — 
Ashes to ashes 
Dust to dust. 



17 



A Song of Death 



Smile, O master of life, 

Safe in thy silver house. 
Be pleased with thy pleasant wife — 

Soon thou hast woe for spouse. 

Joy and joy are thy choice — 
(Shrewd art thou past a doubt !) 

Take they joy and rejoice — 
Sorrow shall find thee out. 

Laugh thou loud at the fool 
Munching his bitter bread ; — 

Surely as thou dost rule 
One shall rule in thy stead. 

What though thy heart be flame, 
And perfume all thy breath ? — 

Who hath written thy name 
Here in the book of Death ? 



i8 



Yea, though thou shine rose-white 
Or though thou burn rose-red, 

Upon the lawful night 

Thou shalt lie spent and sped. 



Drink that is soft and sound ! 

Meats for the delicate maw ! — 
Already the beldame is found 

Who shall tape-up that jaw. 



Build through the golden day 
Cunning in every stroke — 

Adze from his bench must say, 
" Shall it be elm or oak ? " 



And though thou hast all grace, 
All wisdom, and all wit. 

Mattock, in the right place. 
Will delve the appointed pit. 



With faith thou art rich ; and firm 
In hopes like the young east — 

Let us promise the worm 
His certain year-long feast ! 



19 



II 



Fool that no man calls master, 

Irredeemable slave, 
Born for the stark disaster 

With nothing to hope or have. 



Inasmuch as thou moilest 
For sour and scanty bread, 

Rejoice, for wherever thou toilest 
One shall toil in thy stead. 



And inasmuch as they gall thee 
And bitterness is thy breath, 

On a day they shall call thee 
Forth to thy lawful death. 



Let it not be forgotten. 
This is the sure reward — 

Thou shalt lie dead and rotten. 
Even as dead as thy lord. 



So with the brand or the feather 
Each hath his tally and term — 

Let us sup nobly together, 

" Here's to the ultimate worm ! " 



20 



Ill 

Lo, there is anguish and wailing 
Out of the world and her wars, 

A cry goeth up unavailing 
Unto the steadfast stars. 



Set on sweet thrones they glister 
Over our pain and ruth, 

Each to her shining sister 
Telling the wordless truth. 



Though we be fools or sages, 

Who is it conquereth ? 
Death shall pay this world's wages ; 

All that he pays is death. 



By the prayers ye have faltered, 
By the blood and the tears, 

Which is the law ye have altered 
In all the faithful years ? 



No new sign hath been given. 
No new tale is to tell — 

And still the earth is heaven, 
And still the souls are hell. 

21 



Death for life is the guerdon, 
" Life for death " is the ban ; 

None might carry the burden, 
Only the sons of man. 



Of whom there is no daunting 
Beneath the pitiless sky. 

For whom the final vaunting 
Is " men can only die." 



Cursed be he that setteth 
Snares for the bleeding feet ; 

Cursed be he that getteth, 
And giveth not, good wheat. 



Cursed be he that showeth, 
Unto the simple, lies ; 

Cursed be he that throweth 
Dust in the star-set eyes. 



iz 



The Ballad of Poor Honesty 



" Now Good," quoth he, 

" Be good for me. 
And Evil be thou evil " : 

O simple wight ! — 

As well he might 
Have leagued him with the Devil- 

Who, when all's said, 

Is a gentleman bred, 
And civil to the civil. 



He trudgeth forth. 
Now south now north. 

To turn the needful penny, 
Upon his back 
He bears a pack 

Through suns and snows a-many 
And mile on mile — 
With an equal smile 

For Richard and for Jenny. 



23 



" Yea these," he sware, 

" Be God's own pair, 
They will not cog or cozen, 

In smocks they go 

To milk and mow, 
And threadbare are their hosen ; 

But if your due 

Be twelve, for you 
They'll count out the full dozen." 

Yet Dick, fell wretch, 

Did the hangman stretch. 
For cutting a babe's weasand, 

And by the Bench 

That brazen wench. 
Young Jenny, was imprisoned. 

That folk might cry, 

*' In villainy 
The twain were properly seasoned." 

" Still Good," quoth he, 

" Be good for me. 
And Evil be thou evil ; 

My grandam dear. 

Above her beer, 
Was wont to curse the Devil, 

* O little lad. 

Eschew the bad 
Which doth defile ! ' she'd snivel." 



24 



Upon an ass 

He is fain to pass 
Into the virtuous city, 

And soon doth stop 

With my lord bishop, 
The learned and the witty : 

(" So honest a face ! " 

Mused his lordship's grace — 
And hired him out of pity.) 

Here every saw 

Of the moral law 
With joy he heard repeated. 

Till on a night 

In the candle-light 
The bishop's guests were seated, 

And they played a game, 

Bezique by name. 
And my lord the bishop cheated. 

So, nothing loth, 

Our friend shogged off 
To service with a person 

Whom fools did rate 

For a prop of the State : 
There couldn't have been a worse 'un 

For by wink or grin 

He approved the sin 
We are bidden to put a curse on. 



25 



Then a judge he served 

Who quite unnerved 
This saint by actions foxy, 

Such as bringing home quills 

From the Office of Wills 
And going to church by proxy, 

And, once a week. 

Pinching the cheek 
Of a most offensive doxy. 

" Still Good for me 

Be good," quoth he, 
" And Evil be thou evil ; 

I will show my mind 

Unto mankind. 
And speak them fair and civil. 

And tell them how 

All men I know 
Are bondmen of the Devil." 

He trudgeth forth 

Both south and north 
By markets and street corners. 

And saith aloud 

To the wondering crowd, 
" Ye are plagued with thieves and scorners 

And liars and cheats 

And hypocrites 
And losels and suborners ! " 



26 



He was the first 

That ever burst 
Upon them with such tiding ; 

Eftsoons they cried, 

" This fellow's pride 
Is surely past abiding ! " 

And with grievous stones, 

They bruised his bones, 
And hurried him into hiding. 

Upon the floor 

He lies full sore, 
Nor murmureth unduly, 

Although he must 

Give up the ghost 
His speech is not unruly ; 

With his last breath 

He uttereth 
These words : " I ha' spoken truly ! " 

So passeth he 

Most miserably, 
Without or sniff or snivel : 

Unhappy wight — 

As well he might 
Have leagued him with the Devil, 

Who on the whole 

Is a decent soul. 
And returneth good for evil ! 



27 



Faitan 



They have fetched for the king, 
To his city of might, 

The singers who sing 
In the dusks of delight 
And the noons of the night. 



Where the women are lain 
They have order'd his rest, 

With the blood of the slain 
On his sword and his crest, 
And his hands on his breast. 



28 



SONNETS 



April 23 



How shall we praise thee, who art England's praise 

And with the soul of her soul most accords, 
So that she vaunteth to the end of days 

England and Shakespeare high, fast-wedded words ? 
O Royal thou, that spake us a new earth 

And new fair heavens, and a proud new sea, 
Greener is April, boasting of thy birth. 

More blossom'd May, because she swaddled thee ! 
Before thy wisdom humbly stand the wise. 

Judged of thy goodness, Virtue hath no cause. 
Whoever mounts, a feeble feather tries 

By thy great pinion ; and except thou pause. 
The sweetest singer falters in his scale — 
Eagle, and Lark, and Swan, and Nightingale ! 



31 



For Remembrance 



What wife had he, what sweetheart, what fair love ? 
So will the gossips ask themselves when Fame 
Shall set her impudent lips upon my name 
And make an auction for your cast-off glove. 
They know you not. You are a brooding dove, 
Whose spirit, fearful of the world's sharp flame, 
Nestles unto the goodness whence it came. 
And hath nor wish to range nor will to rove. 



Yet, that through dusty Time you may not pass 

Unpictured, unenshrined, or unadored, 

I build this turret of eternal brass, 

Wherein, so long as word may chime with word. 

You are to sit before your jewelled glass 

Beautiful as the Garden of the Lord. 



32 



For Algernon Charles Swinburne 



The cherry whitens in the April air, 

Young Spring has spilt her magic on the wold, 

The woodlands ring with rapture as of old, 

And England lies new-washen, green and fair ; 

Yet is she heavy with a secret care, 

For Death the ever-sharp and over-bold 

Hath taken our Tongue of Honey, our Throat of Gold 

And we have digged a pit, and left him there. 



So must he sleep, though it be high broad noon, 

Or Venus glister in the darkling firs : 

The roses and the music are forgot ; 

Even the great round marigold of a moon. 

That is for lovers and for harvesters, 

And all the sighing seas, may move him not. 



33 



For Stephen Phillips 



Now you are dead and past the bitter fret 
And the long doubt and the disputed throne, 
And the contempts which turn the heart to stone,- 
Who that hath wit shall breathe you a regret ? 
Who that hath tears shall pay you pity's debt ? 
Unto your place of easing you are gone, 
Having fetched for us Beauty from her own 
Lodges of gold by silver orchards set. 



O mortal man that looked in angels' eyes 
And still of baseness took both rood and reed, 
Griever who wed bright visions to great sounds, 
Teller of sorrowful proud histories ; 
We put our silly fingers in your wounds 
And it is well that they no longer bleed. 



34 



Ubi Bene 



Along the English lanes a budding green, 

Upon the English orchards pink and white, 

And over them the rapture and delight 

Of April sunshine ! Fair and fresh and clean, 

Washen as if in wells of hyaline 

And very wondrous to the pilgrim sight ; 

A glad, new land of all things soft and bright — 

Oh, surely, here an angel must have been 



And left his blessing ! . . . Dead, young son of ours, 
Who didst so proudly taste the loving-cup. 
Whose blood but now shone like a living rose 
Dropped by the Lord upon the Flanders snows, 
What country shall they give you to be yours 
For this, the England you have given up ? 



35 



The Baby in the Ward 



We were all sore and broken and keen on sleep, 

Tumours and hearts and dropsies, there we lay. 

Weary of night and wearier of day, 

With no more health in us than rotten sheep. 

Then, tossed to us on some intangible deep, 

Alicia came, and each man learnt to pray 

That Providence would please find out a way 

To still or abate the voice with which she would weep. 



God's infinite mercy, how that child did cry. 
In spite of bottle, bauble, peppermint, nurse ! 
The Tumour said he'd " tell the manager," 
The Dropsy mumbled forth his bitterest curse ; 
But still she wailed and wailed. And when we die 
We shall be sainted for forgiving her. 



^6 



Titanic 



Upon the tinkling splintery battlements 
Which swing and tumble south in ghostly white 
Behemoth rushes blindly from the night, 
Behemoth whom we have praised on instruments 
Dulcet and shrill and impudent with vents : 
Behemoth whose huge body was our delight 
And miracle, wallows where there is no light. 
Shattered and crumpled and torn with pitiful renta, 



towers of steel and masts that gored the moon, 
On you we blazoned our pomp and lust and pelf, 
And we have died like excellent proud kings 
Who take death nobly if it come late or soon : 
For our high souls are mirrors of Himself, 
Though our great wonders are His littlest things. 



37 



Valour 



Mounting his stairs of azure and of gold, 
The English lark sings in the August weather 
For joy which knoweth neither tie nor tether 
And is not troubled if the world grows old ; 
While you, who were as blithesome and as bold, 
And held your life lightly as any feather, 
Sleep the high sleep that dead men sleep together, 
Careless of what is done and what is told. 



I know that all our England shone before you 

When you went down. It made a radiance 

Even of the front of Death. Oh, woman's son. 

You died for England . . . valiant as she that bore you, 

And sent you forth with a still countenance. 

And broke her heart for England — and lives on ! 



38 



Lovers 



He goeth and he returns not. He is dead ; 
Their house of joy no further brightness shows, 
Their loveliness is come unto its close, 
Their last touch given, and their last kindness said ; 
For him no more the vision of her bent head. 
For her no more the lily or the rose. 
Nor any gladness in this place of woes ; 
The book is shut, the bitter lesson read. 



Yet who shall beat them down ? Though the Abhorr'd 
Taketh the groom, and to the bride hath sent 
The dagger of anguish with the ice-cold hilt, 
Both of them triumph in a strange content — 
And out of souls like these will heavens be built 
And holy cities peopled for the Lord. 



39 



On the Death of Edward VII 



All our proud banners mourn along the May, 
One who is plumed and powerful breaks us down : 
Marred are the orchards, shaken our strong town, 
And blackness covers up our bright array. 
The Sceptre and the Orb are put away ; 
The scarlet changed for the funereal gown ; 
And easy lies the head that wore a Crown, 
And this which was a King is simple clay. 



O mighty Death, the mightiest are thine, 

Thou set'st his Widow weeping in her place, 

And while thou pluck'st her heart with thy chill hand, 

And givest her to drink a common wine. 

The wondering sentry goeth at his pace. 

And England cries, and cannot understand. 



40 



The Promise 



You know my pains, you see me in the hell 
Through which I toil, hurt and uncomforted. 
You see on what base errands I am sped, 
And what I reap where we sowed asphodel ; 
And my songs are of sorrow, and I tell, 
Knowing no other, tales of grief and dread : 
Though I be warm I am as good as dead, 
And always we can hear my passing bell. 



And yet, dear Spirit, you who have kind eyes 
That meet disaster with a child's amaze. 
You who have got a wild rose for your lips 
And are all fashioned out of Paradise ; 
You shall stand safe beside the sapphire bays, 
And I will show you all our golden ships. 



41 



Ulster 



The savage leopardess, and she-wolves and bears 
Cherish their offsprings in the solitude, 
And red-eyed tigresses whose trade is blood, 
And female panthers, and jackals in their lairs. 
The lowliest, sullenest mother-creature wears 
In her hot heart a jewel of motherhood, 
And knoweth darkly that the only good 
Is to defend and succour her rude heirs. 



And thou whose Might is from the east unto the west, 
Whose Front is of chilled iron and fine gold, 
Who yet in glory and honour goest drest, 
O great-thewed mother of us all, behold 
How this thy sturdy child, who is foully sold. 
Fights that he be not banished from thy breast ! 



42 



Charing Cross 



At five o'clock they ring a tinkly bell ; 

The April dawn glimmers along the beds, 

There is a lifting up of weary heads 

From weary pillows. Our old citadel 

Hath still held out, and while the miracle 

Of morning is unbared again, and spreads 

All the young East with greens and blues and reds 

Each of us wakes to his particular hell. 



But even on this bitter shore of Styx 

Where Life to dogged Death puts the last schism, 

We kindle for the ending of the dark : 

The Asthma feebly jokes the Aneurism, 

The little bandaged boy in Number Six 

Sings " Ye shall die " with a voice like a lark. 



43 



For H. M. C. 



I wonder which hath triumphed, you or Death ? 

For he has torn you ultimately from your place, 

And shattered all the woman in your face, 

And put his last injunction on your breath. 

And ferried you across to his dim staith 

Where there is none who hath either hope or grace. 

But only the unimaginable race 

Of broken souls his wing encompasseth. 



O pitiful and pitiful ! And yet 

Not all he asks is yielded up to him. 

And we who fight have our shrewd joy therefor : 

Upon your brow sitteth a shining, grim 

Rapture of wars, and on your lips is set 

To-night the still smile of the conqueror. 



44 



After 



And when I die, you should be grieved, and go 
Dumbly into the bitter fields alone. 
For you have long since made your widow's moan, 
And carried in your heart the widow's woe. 
Outrageous Death hath neither feint nor blow 
To hurt you further. Thus without a groan 
I shall go down, and be as cold as stone. 
And you will kiss me and I shall not know. 



But haply then some mercy may befall. 

And to your breast, this death in life being past. 

Quiet may come and peace without alloy : 

Seeing you lone and lovely and downcast 

They will possess you with a secret joy 

And keep you with an angel at your call. 



45 



Dawn 



This morning at dawn 1 attacked the enemy* s second 
system of dejenceP — Sir Douglas Haig 



These are the fights of Love and Joy and Men 
With Fate and Death and the illicit Beast, 
For guerdons, of which Glory is the least 
And Honour not the highest. The old reign 
Of Night shall topple, the old Wrongs be slain : 
Fitting it is that you go to the Feast 
While angel suns kindle the young-eyed east 
And bring the breath of Eden back again. 



Oh soldiers' hour ! . . . For now the English rose 
Flames and is washed with the authentic dew 
And through the mist her ancient crimson shows 
I see your shadows on the waking lawn 
Like shadows of kings, and all the souls of you 
Blazoned and bright and panoplied in the dawn. 



46 



Cor Cordium 



He is gone hence. Weep no weak tears for him : 
You gave us freely what you valued most ; 
It is not loss, for gifts are never lost 
Unto the giver. Lo, the star-kept, dim 
Limits where battle fades away, and grim 
Death halts and hath no power ! On that coast 
His feet are set among the shining host 
Who range with cherubim and seraphim. 



A thousand suns are unregarded dust, 

A million dawns break and are counted not, 

And Beauty riseth up, and she departs 

Eternally — eternally forgot ; 

But your fair stripling, dead beside his trust, 

Is safely folded in the Heart of Hearts. 



47 



cc 



Votes for Women " 



Mark how their shining effigies are set 

For ever on the firmament of Time, 

Like lovely words caught in a lovely rhyme, 

Or silver stars kept in a faery net. 

Ivory and marble hold them for us yet. 

And all our blossomy memories of them chime 

With all the honest graces of the prime — 

Helen, and Ruth, Elaine, and Juliet. 



And You, in this disconsolate London square 
Flaunting an ill-considered purple hat 
And mud-stained, rumpled, bargain-counter coat, 
You of the broken tooth and buttered hair, 
And idiot eye and cheeks that bulge with fat, 
Sprawl on the flagstones chalking for a vote ! 



48 



For a Rich Man who is said to 
" Believe in Poetry " 



Let us be filled with wild and fierce disdains, 
Let us contemn, disparage, and cry down 
These prancing stomachs who amass and own, 
Inherit and squander, and have nets and chains 
And panoplies of penalties and pains 
Wherewith to extort the uttermost half-crown ; 
For whom indeed the world's hard fields are sown 
And its scant harvests gathered on gorged wains. 



Withal, we must believe good things of them, 
And show a kindly bosom while they stand 
Grinning out of their proud and cunning eyes ; 
Nay, even the chiefest shall not stir our phlegm, 
For he hath still knowledge of Paradise, 
And hides an angel's feather in his hand. 



49 



Leda 



Out of my silver turrets I look down 

Upon a garden wherein sleeps a rose 

Who hath a ruby heart ; beside her glows 

Unblemished, in a drifted, vestal gown 

Yon lily, and beyond them lies a town 

Of tufted green and each sweet bloom that blows ; 

Midmost from whence a little fountain throws 

His gentle sprays which seem but half his own. 



And on the lake that skirts our dreary wood 

There sails for ever a new-washen swan, 

Who is as white as milk or angels are : 

At dawn he glitters in the solitude, 

At dusk he goeth glimmering and wan 

To where one waits him, white like a young star. 



50 



The ^^ Student 



A minx of seventeen, with rather fine 
Brown eyes and freckles and a cheerful grin, 
She saunters up the ward, and stricken sin 
Nods and looks pleasant (why should one repine ?). 
She takes " her cases," looks for every " sign," 
Hammers and sounds the portly and the thin, 
Plies them with questions till their cheap heads spin 
And keeps them busy saying " ninety-nine." 



It's my turn now ! Oh, let me bare my chest 
And spread a level sheet across my crib. 
And be as wax for our meticulous Miss ; 
While she, poor dear, doing her anxious best, 
Feels for the apex under the wrong rib 
And wonders fiercely where my liver is. 



51 



Antarctic 



What tale is this which stirs a world of knaves 
Out of its grubbing to throw greasy pence 
Forth to the hat, and choke with eloquence 
In boastful prose and verse of doubtful staves ? 
Four men have died, gentlemen, heroes, braves ; 
Snows wrap them round eternally. From thence 
They may no more return to life or sense 
And a steel moon aches down on their chill graves. 



" They died for England." It is excellent 
To die for England. Death is oft the prize 
Of him who bears the burden and the load. 
So with a glory let our lives be spent — 
We may be noble in the Minories 
And die for England in the Camden Road. 



52 



Shepherd^ s Bush 



Preposterous stucco, naughty ropes of light, 
The drunken drone of twenty-two brass bands, 
A flip-flap, and some hokey-pokey stands ; 
Smith on your left, and Lipton on your right, 
And Lyons, Lyons, Lyons ; and that bright 
Particular marvel, which, be sure, commands 
Respect from fools of all and sundry brands — 
The Press Lord Harmsworth prints from every night. 



Here, noble London, dost thou prowl and yell, 
Or cause to disappear with horrid zest 
The meat and drink provided by the Jew ; 

Here flickereth they paltry, shadowful hell 

And like a silver feather in the West, 



And fair as fair, the moon that Dido knew ! 



S3 



Death 



For thou wert Master of their windy keeps, 

In Tyre, in Ilium, and in Babylon, 

Which smote the welkin many a year agone 

With torches and with shouting. Whoso sleeps 

On the large hills, or drowns in the old deeps. 

His name shines in a book for thee to con ; 

And thy chill pomps and aching triumphs are won 

Where the forlornest woman sits and weeps. 



So that for thee we make embroideries. 
And for thy foul pate twist a beamy crown. 
Who art the lord of laughter and of lust, 
Who readest all their lesson to the wise, 
And to the fools, as they go up and down ; 
And it is this : A cry, a dream, and — dust. 



54 



The End 



I know that our fair rose was slain last night : 

She is become a ruinous, delicate wraith, 

And now she gives her perfumes up to Death ; 

No longer may she shine in the sweet light. 

Or drink the dewey darkness ; for the might 

That breaks the hearts of kings and staggereth 

Bold men, hath borne her down. " Take me," she saith, 

" Unto the old, dead roses, red and white." 



So, dearest, when the ultimate foul dun 
And crawling knave into our hand shall thrust 
His figure of accompt and greedy fine 
For our poor gladness underneath the sun, 
I shall come laughing to your gentle dust. 
Or you will come like balm to comfort mine. 



55 



For the Time 



Give me the robe an angel late hath worn, 
Give me the tongue of wonder and the pen 
Of magic which doth fetch the souls of men 
Out of deep hell ; give me the stings of scorn, 
The rage of blood, agony of the thorn, 
Wisdom of hills and stars. Let me be ten 
Times tried in furnaces, and tried again, 
And searched in icy wells where proof is born. 



And I will say to you a word of breath 

More furious than the forty winds of night 

And fiercer and more terrible than death ; 

And yet as holy as the words of light 

That love or mercy or sainthood uttereth, 

And sweeter than the prayers of women — Fight ! 



S6 



RED ROSE 



*P68a fi €ipr}Kas 



Red Rose 



^ed Rose impor- The red rose called to me, 

tuneth the Lover, cc t> i 

and he answereih -oe thou my Love ; 

^^ Lo, I am fire and flame 

For love of thee." 



I said to the red rose, 

" It is in starry white. 

With brows and breasts of snow. 

That my Love goes." 



59 



She contiHueih to « Come to me, come to me, 
tnvtte htm and t i n i n 

praiseth herself 1 shall be excellence. 

Softness and bloom and myrrh 

And heavy sleep," saith she. 



" And I have doves, as of old, 
My lips are crimson joy. 
And my smiles are of light. 
And my tears are of gold." 



60 



l^lZt^Tj- "Th^- Kings rage at my door, 
deth him be the chief They would have love of me, 
of them Till I look forth on them, 

They are mean men and poor. 



" In purple they go drest. 
And bright gifts each King bears, 
Come thou and be with us, 
And I will love thee best." 



6i 



She descriheth her " There is a chamber hes 
chamber and the ^ i r ^ r i. 

pleasures thereof In the heart of my house, 

Secret and sweet and dim, 

Lit only with mine eyes. 



" We will burn spices there, 
And we will say to Life, 
* Bring now for our delight 
All that is good and fair.' " 



62 



The Lover telleth J said, " No Kings may wait 
her of the chamber . i • t i 

of his own Love Against my white Love's door, 

She hath no Love save one. 

She needeth not such state. 



" Her chamber is of blue, 
A gold lamp shines therein ; 
A lily and a babe 
Are in her chamber too." 



63 



The Lover falleth Red rose, red rose, 

captive to her beauty ^, i , , 

Oh, thou red rose I 

I went into her house 

Upon the slow day's close, 



I lay down on her bed, 
She smiled her smile of light. 
She wept her tears of gold : 
" Oh, thou red rose ! " I said. 



64 



He parleyeth with " Red rose, red rose, 

Red rose and rose of mine, 
Behold we are one soul, 
With love for its repose." 



She laughed, like one who sings, 
Saying, " We are one soul." 
She thought of my white Love, 
And I of those three Kings. 



6s 



They sleep She thought of those three Kings, 

And I of my white Love : 
A cold moon look'd at us, 
Chill from a thousand springs. 



I said, " But we are one." 
She said, " Yea, we are one." 
We slept a lover's sleep 
Until that moon was gone. 



66 



The awakening At dawn she stirred and woke. 
I said, " O red, red rose, 
What of my little white Love ? " 
And never a word she spoke. 



Before her mirror long 
Stood she, and tired herself. 
Her hair flamed in the sun. 
Her laugh was like a song. 



67 



They are to ride « The day is fair," she said, 

^^^* « We wiU ride forth," said she, 

" I on a milk-white horse, 
Thou on a roan of red. 



" The world is deck'd like a bride, 
And sharp and sweet the air. 
Those kings shall follow us, 
Thou ridest at my side." 



68 



They ride, and th* We rode forth into the dawn, 
Lover seeth his own .,, ,. j i. 

£oj;. All a-glitter and shine, 

Along the sleepy streets, 

Past lodge and river and lawn, 



And fields that good men till ; 
And out by the western gate 
I saw my little white Love 
Simpling upon a hill. 



69 



He showeth her to I gaid « Red rose, red rose, 
Red Rose ^ \ , . i 

Seest thou who is there r 

It is my own white Love, 

Mark with what grace she goes." 



" Pardie, pardie, good Sir, 
Is it thy lady Love ? 
Then, if thou lovest me true, 
Get down and speak with her." 



70 



He will not go to She smiled her smile of light, 

his own Love _, , , . ,. 

ohe pursed her crimson lips, 

She let her hand touch mine, 

Her eyes shone very bright. 



I said, " Red rose, I ween 
That thou and I are as one, 
I would not leave they side 
An she were Mary Queen." 



71 



Red Rose dealeth go that we rode and came 
shrewdly wxth htm -t r • i 

Unto a fair green place ; 

She put her head on my breast, 

And softly said my name. 



Those three Kings stood apart, 
Plotting my death they stood ; 
She took a jewelled knife, 
And stabbed me in the heart. 



7a 



And leaveth him to And turned her milk-white steed, 
parish 

And kissed me on the lips, 

And laughed to those three Kings, 

And left me there to bleed. 



And, with those Kings, did ride 
Away in the sunshine : 
I could not wish her hurt, 
" red, red rose, " I cried. 



73 



He riseth up Lfj^e torches in the sky 

At night the stars awoke, 
The ghost of me stood up 
And ached exceedingly. 



The world seemed full of shows 
I went to mine own door, 
And look'd on my white Love, 
And cried, " red, red rose ! " 



7+ 



The end Spring sitteth at her loom, 

Weaving her green and gold, 
The sweet lark sitteth in heaven, 
And thou in thy red room ! 



My white Love, still as a mouse, 
Still and quiet and pale, 
Sitteth beside her babe. 
And thou in thy red house ! 

1903 



75 



WAR POEMS 



War 



She took of fire of the sun and steel of the icy moon 
And rage of furious seas and breath of the hurricane, 
And silver sound of April and blossom and dust of June, 
And tears of women and terror of babes and blood of the 

hearts of men ; 
Through nights athrob with her rose-red star and aghast 

with the wild star's falling, 
And days of summer whereby she was throned and days 

of autumn that crowned her, 
She went to make dread feasts and great pomps ; and she 

reigneth — for ever calHng 
The fairest and kindest and bravest and youngest and 

dearest around her. 

2 

For them she hath lures which are swifter than joy and 

brighter than hope 
And subtler than aught that cunning deviseth or gildeth, 
Surer to snare and safer to catch than love-lamp or silken 

rope 
Hung from the moonlit window for token of love which 

yieldeth ; 



79 



She hath content for the high wild heart and content for 

the wooer, 
She is the lover of lovers, whom loving, none may love 

other, 
Softly she sayeth the names of her children that they may 

go to her. 
And she gathers them to her stark fierce bosom hke a proud 

mother. 

3 

Of old hath she been contemned by mouths that were 

zealous and wise. 
Sister of Murder, procuress and bondwoman of Death ; 
Yet is the blood on her hand made snow by the Faith in 

her eyes. 
And the tongue of triumphing Time for her righteousness 

witnesseth : 
Out of all darkness she comes with all sweet light on her 

tresses. 
Into the ear of the flesh she crieth quick speech of the 

spirit ; 
And she bringeth the world from its travail and ache to 

its certain comfort, and blesses 
Them that endure and are broken and spent for them that 

inherit. 



80 



A Song of Pride for England 



Lo, the stark heavens are stirred : 
He Cometh, plumed and spurred, 
To say the undaunted word, 

England ! 
With high and haughty breath 
He hails the hordes beneath ; 
This hath he for their teeth — 

" England again ! 



II 



King George in London Town, 
Sweareth our own's our own : 
Whose might shall pluck us down, 

England ? 
Glories of slaughtered hosts. 
Splendours of English ghosts 
Beckon us from our coasts, 

England again 



8i 



Ill 



Shrewd, on our world of seas, 
Waketh at dawn a breeze 
Singing bold melodies, 

England ! 
Rose-red the long day falls, 
And the frore night wind calls 
To our proud Admirals, 

" England again ! " 



IV 

Our Ensign flutters still 
On the unshaken hill ; 
Our Bugle vaunteth shrill, 

England ! 
What of the heathen draff ? 
They are as burning chaff. 
Into their eyes we laugh, 

England again ! 



Death in his charnel-house, 
Rage and the Devil's spouse 
Hate — ruffle not your brows, 
England ! 

82 



Blood of your fathers' blood, 
Bred of great motherhood, 
Suckled on ancient good — 

" England again ! " 



VI 

You shall be steel and ice, 
Stronger than love, and thrice 
Stricken for sacrifice, 

England ! 
You shall bow to the flail. 
The hammer and the nail. 
And perish — and prevail, 

England again ! 



VII 

While this our little land 
Hath a man-child to stand, 
He shall lift up his hand, 

England, 
To smite the accursed bars : 
Out of the din of wars 
He shall shout to the stars, 

" England again ! " 



83 



VIII 

Troop you from field and fold, 
Market and shop of gold ; 
Let the full tale be told, 

England ! 
Time beats his pitiless drum^ 
Fate's at her iron loom, 
For the New Earth, or Doom — 

England again 



84 



Sons 



We have sent them forth 

To Christ's own rood ; 
Their feet are white 

On the fields of blood, 
And they must slake 

Their young desire 
In wells of death 

And pits of fire. 



The red cock crows 

And the grey cock crows, 
And there is red 

On Flanders' snows ; 
And sun-scorched sand 

And thirsty clay 
Drink a red spilth 

By Suvla Bay. 



85 



And where Azizeah's 

Turrets gleam, 
And Tigris glitters, 

Like a dream, 
Through nights of scent 

And tinkling sounds. 
Sleep rose-white dead 

With rose-red wounds. 



II 

I saw the Shadow 

Count the fair 
Sum of his takings ; 

Them that were 
Children in years 

When they were sped. 
And now are mighty 

Being dead. 

Like galaxies 

Of stars, they shone 
In the great places 

They have won ; 
He sets them there. 

No sting hath he, 
And his is not 

The \^ctory. 

86 



And whom he spared 

I saw return, 
Ambassadors 

From his brave bourne — 
Strong with the wisdom 

Of the Wars, 
Bright from the camps 

Of Conquerors. 



87 



Unto the End 



Though the rivers of crystal run blood till the seas are 

blood, 
And the lands which were for proud harvests gape livid with 

death ; 
And the goodness we had of the days is emptied for ever of 

good, 
And for ever the balm of the silver night faileth and 

perisheth ; 
And though from the womb our sons know only to rage 

and kill, 
And our daughters forget that a bride is wed not for widow 

but wife ; 
And War, which the wise of their wisdom accounted the 

chiefest ill, 
Boasteth itself for the glory and blessing and purport of 

Ufe; 
Yea, though these things were established for ever — how 

should we quail, 
Or falter, or doubt that the sheer, stark soul of us shall 

prevail ? 



We are done with the laughter and solace, the softness, the 

bloom, 
The clusters and sheaves of content, the honey and milk ; 
We are gone from the beautiful places unto the brinks of 

doom, 
Where that is sharp which was sweet and that is steel 

which was silk, 
And that is woe which was flesh, and hurt which was 

delight. 
And the fairest and kindest love must sort with a lurking 

hate. 
And the heart of pity be stone within her, and wrong be 

but right, 
And our very prayers are for power to punish and desolate ; 
Yea, stript to the spirit we stand, naked and very sure 
Of naught but the spirit, which, if it triumph not, yet shall 

endure. 



89 



Post Proelium 

[Jutland] 



Lovely, and mightily-thewed 

Mother of this great brood, 

Lo, the beatitude 

Falls on thee like a flood. 

And folds thee where thou'rt stood 

Fronting the destinies 

With comfortable eyes. 



II 



Now knowest thou the rose 
Which to the sweet air blows 
In thy fair garden-close, 
And thine own lark that throws 
Down music as he goes 

Vaunting to heaven of thee, 
Are not for the enemy. 

90 



Ill 

Now knowest thou the maid 
Of her young joy unstayed, 
And matrons who have said 
Most secret prayers, afraid 
To tell themselves they prayed— 

In thy green land shall dwell 

Safe and inviolable. 

IV 

Woodland and russet farm, 
And hamlet, and the warm 
And goodly towns where swarm 
Thy populations, Harm 
Taketh not in her palm ; 

And never will they know 

The tread of any foe. 



For round thee is the sheer 
Might of the mariner 
Whom thou didst suckle and rear 
And give for the ships. No peer 
Hath he to drive and steer 

And fight till the last bells 

The steely citadels. 



91 



VI 

Now knowest thou the deeps 
Of a verity thine ; nor sleeps 
Nor fails the ward. Who leaps 
For what thy Amireld keeps, 
Soweth a wind, and reaps 

The whirlwind from thy guns, 
The lightning from thy sons. 

VII 

Blessed art thou that sent 
These to be strawne and spent ; 
And blessed they that went, 
Singing with heart's content. 
Unto the sacrament ; 
And blessed they that mourn 
Whoso shall not return. 



92 



Marching On 



I heard the young lads singing 

In the still morning air, 
Gaily the notes came ringing 

Across the lilac'd square ; 
They sang like happy children 

Who know not doubt or care, 

" As WE GO MARCHING ON." 



And each one sloped a rifle 
And each one bore a pack ; 

They had no grief to stifle, 
No tears to weep, alack ; 

They were too blithe to question 
Which of them should come back. 
As they went marching on. 



93 



II 



Oh, thou whose eyes are sorrow, 
And whose soul is sorrowing. 

Who knowest that each to-morrow 
A deeper woe may bring. 

And knowest that all the comfort 
Is the very littlest thing 

While they go marching on ; 

These sons of thine seek glory, 

As the bridegroom seeks the bride, 

And who shall tell the story 

Of their triumph and their pride ? 

Like lovers, for the love of thee 

They have lain them down and died ; 
And they go marching on. 



Ill 

They march by field and city. 
By every road and way, 

A march which angels pity 
And none may stop or stay 

Till the last head is rested 
On the last crimson clay ; 

So they go marching on ! 



94 



They march in the broad sunlight 

And by the lovers' moon. 
Into the flame and gun-light 

From morns and eves of June, 
And Death for their entranced feet 

Pipes an obsequious tune, 

And keeps them marching on. 



IV 

And mid the battle thunder. 
And in the fields of blood, 

They see the untarnished wonder. 
The healing, and the good 

Which passeth understanding 
And can not be understood ; 

And they go marching on. 

They see the rose's brightness 
Made perfect and complete, 

Lilies and snows of whiteness, 
And wings of gold that beat 

For ever and for ever 
Before the Paraclete ; 

And they go marching on. 



95 



Sergeant Death 



Oh, Sergeant Death, 
I've served with you, 
And chanced my breath 
A time or two ! 



Fve seen brave men 
Turn green as sin. 
When you have coughed, 
" FaU in, faU in ! » 



I've heard brave men 
With cold fear shout, 
When you have piped, 
" FaU out, faU out ! " 



Where'er a lad 
Would do his part, 
'Tis you that probes 
His inmost heart. 

96 



Though all be stirred 
By drums a-roll, 
'Tis you that finds 
The soldier soul, 



And takes him through 
The conqueror's drill, 
And helps him home, 
Or leaves him still. 



'Tis you that puts 
In one parade 
Them that were anxious 
And afraid, 



And them that were 
Fed-up and sick. 
And them that begged 
You to be quick, 



And them that gave 
You laugh for laugh. 
And bitterer chaff 
For bitter chaff. . . . 

97 



Oh, you are old, 
And fierce and wise, 
But there is goodness 
In your eyes. 



And still your health 
Goes round the tents- 
" The Father of 
The Regiments ! " 



Kitchener 



If Death had questioned thee, 

" Soldier, where wouldst thou take 

The immitigable blow ? " 

Thou hadst answered, " Let it be 

Where the battalions shake 

And break the entrenched foe." 



Yet wert thou nobly starred 
And destined. Thou dost die 
On the grim English sea ; 
Thou goest to the old tarred 
Great Captains, and shalt Ue 
Pillowed with them eternally. 



And they shall stir from their rest 
Each in his lordly shroud. 
And say, " 'Fore God, we have room. 
So are the deeps made proud ; 
Behold the glory on his breast, 
Kitchener of Khartoum ! " 



99 



For Righteousness^ Sake 



Man that is born of a woman — 

The creature of doom, 
Who lives that the Shadow may summon 

Men forth to the tomb ; 



Who knoweth not wages or earning, 

Who sows not to reap. 
Whose labour and passion and yearning 

Must finish with sleep ; 



Who catches in vain at the glory ; 

Whose brightness is rust ; 
Whose days are a breath and a story ; 

Whose house is the dust ; 



Who lies, if he vaunt him of merit, 
Whose tree bears no fruit. 

Who quenches the spark of the spirit 
With lusts of the brute ; 

100 



Yet — standeth erect to the fighting 

And whirlwind and flame, 
And squanders himself for the smiting 

Of Terror and Shame ; 



Who gathereth his weakness and brings it 

Where furies move ; 
And loves the world so that he flings it 

Away out of love ; 



Even though he were fashioned to perish 

By ordinance grim, 
The Sons of the Morning would cherish 

Memories of him : 



Who owing a debt went and paid it, 

And kept with his blood 
The Earth for the Wisdom who made it 

And saw it was good. 



lOI 



John Travers Cornweu 



" Boy {first class) John Gravers Cornwell, of Chester, was 
mortally wounded early in the action. He nevertheless 
remained standing alone at a most exposed post quietly 
awaiting orders till the end of the action, with the gun^s crew 
dead and wounded all round him." — Admiral Beatty 



Mortally hurt, alone he stood, 
England, in thy great fortitude. 



While his spent shipmates round him lay 
He held on in thine ancient way — 



A stripling with the veteran eye 
For the hard front of destiny. 



Effacing Time shall not destroy 
The memory of this, thy boy. 

102 



On his young head the glory falls, 
As on the lordliest admirals ; 



Fate sets his name in honour grim 
And even Death is proud of him. 



103 



Steel- True and Blade-Straight 



I 



Steel-true and blade-straight — 
There's your man ! And soon or late 

He is England — all of her ; 

All the Blood that makes her fair, 
All the Soul that makes her great, 
Steel-true and blade-straight. 



II 



Steel-true and blade-straight — 
Neither puffed out, nor elate. 

Neither glad, nor sad, nor sorry, 
Seeking neither grace nor glory, 
Steadfast at the battered gate — 
Steel-true and blade-straight. 



icr4 



Ill 

Steel-true and blade-straight — 

Let the pillars of the State 

Wrangle to their hearts' content- 
His to fend and thrust and feint, 

His to watch and ward and wait^ 

Steel-true and blade-straight. 



IV 



Steel-true and blade-straight — 
While we bawl and perorate, 

Big with " ifs " about our war- 
He, the undoubting conqueror, 
Knocks the nonsense out of Fate — 
Steel-true and blade-straight. 



105 



Sursum 



I saw his dread plume gleaming, 
As he rode down the line. 

And cried like one a-dreaming 
" That man, and that, is mine ! 



They did not fail or falter 
Because his front so shone ; 

His horse's golden halter 

With star-dust thick was sown. 



They followed him like seigneurs, 
Proud both of mien and mind — 

Colonels and old campaigners 
And bits of lads new-joined. 



A glittering way he showed them 
Beyond the dim outpost. 

And in his tents bestowed them — 
White as the Holy Ghost. 

io6 



And, by the clear watch-fires, 
They talk with conquerors, 

And have their hearts' desires, 
And praise the honest wars. 



And each of them in raiment 
Of honour goeth drest, 

And hath his fee and payment. 
And glory on his breast. 



O woman, that sit'st weeping- 
Close, Hke the stricken dove,- 

He is in goodly keeping, 
The soldier thou didst love ! 



107 



The Full Share 



"/ take my full share of responsibility for the initiation of 
that operation — my full share. . . . 1 do not propose to adopt 
the attitude of a white-sheeted penitent, with a couple of candles, 
one in each hand, doing penance and asking for absolution.''^ 
— Mr. Asquith. 



I 



Do not expect from me 

(Whom you have set 

In this authority) 

Defence, apology, 

Excuse or plea. 

Or even a regret : 

No sheeted penitent 

Am I, 

To stand 

Candle in hand 

And cry 

That I may be forgiven. 

Absolved or shriven. 

For what is spilt and spent. 

io8 



All that has happened so 

Is so. 

I lay it bare ; 

Admission I make : 

The wisest of us err, 

The best plans go awry ; 

Perhaps we blundered sore ; 

But I would have you know 

No one is more 

Responsible than I, 

And of the accountability I take 

My share — and my full share ! 



II 



In far Gallipoli 

Where Achi frowns to the sea. 

And wild war-fires are set ; 

Stark to the Eastern moon, 

There lies, 

Huddled in the last agonies. 

Beside his shattered gun, 

A new-slain EngUsh boy : 

And his dead eyes 

Hint not apologies. 

Excuses or regret, 

Neither dismay nor joy ; 

No candles at his head 

Nor sheet nor shroud has he, 

109 



And by his blood-soaked bed 
No shriving words are said. 

It is a woman's son — 

The child she bare 

In England free and fair : 

Following the Enghsh drum 

Hitherward is he come, 

So to annul 

And break 

Himself for England's sake — 

He, too, hath taken his share. 

And taken it in full. 



Ill 

Lord of the Mysteries, 

Who on the shining air 

Launchest despair. 

And black, by rose and vine, 

Spillest the battle-line ; 

This is the Bread, and this 

The perfumed Wine : 

No period dost Thou set 

Unto our dole and fret. 

Which, being of Thee, are Thine ; 

Yet, if we yield our breath 

To death, 

IIO 



Or keep in strife 

This fripperied fardel life, 

Help each of us to bear 

His share — and his full share ! 



Ill 



Killed 



Lieutenant Keen was " great," and yet 
He would look over the parapet ; 
And something smacked him in the head, 
And he lay down as dead as dead. 

He sluttered down, all proud and grim, 
And we set to and buried him ; 
All night he lay and took his rest 
With lumps of Flanders on his breast. 

All day he lay in Flanders ground 
And rested, rested, good and sound ; 
But when the dog-star gHttered clear 
He calls, " By Jove, it's dark down here I 

" Sergeant, ain't I for rounds ? " sings he, 
" And where's the bally Company ? " 
And he was answered, with respect, 
" Here, sir — all present and correct ! " 

And — sure as Pm a man — at night 
He comes along the trench, as white 



112 



And cheerful as the blessed saints, 
To see if there was " no complaints.'* 

They carniot quieten that boy's ghost, 
He'll have no truck with no *' Last Post," 
They mark him ** Killed," but you may swear 
He's with us, be it foul or fair. 

He goes before us like young fire, 
A soldier of his soul's desire ; 
Through the hell-reek that smothers us. 
He fathers us and mothers us. 

When we have pushed the German swine 
Across the pretty river Rhine, 
Maybe he'll bide where he was spent 
And Ue down happy and content. 



113 



A Chant of Aj^ection 



And so you hate us ! You 
Hate England — hate, hate, hate ! 
A bestial brewage, racked 
Out of the pits and holes 
Of foulness and deceit, 
Riots in your unclean veins ; 
You burn, you rage, you choke 
You spit and splutter hate 
For England ! ... To the Russ, 
Battering your Eastern doors, 
You have a mind to turn 
The blubbered other cheek ; 
The Gaul — your sweet old friend 
And crony of your love — 
For him, dear soul, white flags, 
Garlands and pretty lures. 
Doves, promises, desire 
To load him with the half 
Of that you filched away : 
For Belgia, " bleeding hearts," 
Laments, regrets, " mild rule," 
Cheap headstones for her sons, 

114 



And for her daughters Tou — 

That they may suage your lusts 

And, by the fireless hearths 

You have made desolate, 

Be snugly brought to bed 

Of further Attilas 

And blonde Barabbases — 

Lieges and " gun fodder " 

For the top-heavy Dolt 

Whom ye call Kaiser and Lord. . . 

Yea, holy are your eyes 

And filled with kindly beams 

For these and all the world : 

On Turk and Pole and Boer, 

Bulgar, American, 

You smile your panderous smile — 

But for the English— Hate ! 



And you will rend our Throat, 

And you will bite our Heel, 

And you will stamp us down : 

You put an oath on bronze 

(Not paper this time — bronze ! 

Which is not easily blown 

On winds of treachery !) 

You have made an oath of bronze, 

An oath no wind may shake, 

An oath for your sons and their sons 

One foe and one alone — 

"5 



ENGLAND i For England hate I 
And hate and hate and hate ! 

How shall we hate you back 
We who are England ; we 
Whose bugles round the world 
Blow to the punctual dawns 
And fail not ; whose great ships 
Traverse the seventy seas 
And always are at home ; 
Who are too big, for hate, 
Too careless and too fine, 
Too tempered and too proud — 
How shall we hate you back ? 
For when you see us whole 
Our strength is an honest strength 
And based on what we love ; 
And these be two things we love : 
Honour, and our fair land — 
Honour which is the crown 
And jewel and lamp and light 
Of them that are not clods ; 
And our fair English land 
Peopled with forthright men 
Who make no talk of God, 
But fear Him in their hearts, 
And fear nor hate, nor death 
Nor the King's enemies ; — 
A land of blunt, brave men. 
And blessed with memories 

ii6 



Of old and high renown ; 
Old Captains who beat forth 
In lofty ships of war, 
Tawny and tarred and proud, 
Old Admirals, who sleep 
Safe in the ancient deeps, 
And dream for England still : 
Oh, you shall stamp us down 
When all the seas are red 
With the good English blood, 
And all the beaches white 
With decent English bones. 
And when our pleasant fields 
Are hillocked with carrion flesh 
That cries and cries to heaven 
Of coward Englishmen, 
And the white Yorkshire rose 
Blushes for shame of us. 
And her red sister-rose 
Blanches for shame of us. 
Then shall you stamp us down, 
Then shall you suck the blood 
Out of the English throats. 
And tack this Isle of ours 
On to your German wastes ! 
O haters, fools and blind 
Go home and make dolls* eyes. 
And silly little clocks. 
And plaisters for our gout. 
Wimples and crisping-pins ! 

117 



For now the outraged stars 

Have seen enough of you, 

The silver moons are sick 

That ye still blot the earth ; 

From icy, hidden peaks 

And far-off fastnesses, 

From chambers of the South 

And in the unconquerable heart 

Of England, ware and wake, 

The tempest gathers up 

That shall be flails for you, 

And break you in your place 

And scatter you like straw ; 

Instead of " Hate, hate, hate,'* 

You shall cry " Doom, doom, doom," 

And you shall wail and mourn, 

With none to comfort you 

But sprites of murdered babes. 

And ghosts of women raped. 

And wraiths of great slain men. 



Ii8 



The Riddle 



Through a glass darkly I can see 
Slaves, in whose blood ran liberty ; 

Creatures of anguish, fear and wrong, 
Abject of eye, furtive of tongue ; 

Whose joy hath taken wings and flown, 
Whose strength no longer is their own ; 

Whose high tower toppled to the dust, 
Whose silk and steel are moth and rust ; 

Whose name is water and shall be 
A byword and a mockery ; 

Who eat the portion of the thrall, 
Whose drink is vinegar and gall ; 

Whose flesh doth suffer whip and rope. 
Whose children's children may not hope ; 

Upon whose fetters chuckling Fate 
Hath set her scornful mark " Too late." 

119 



And on whose brows that fronted God 
The leering Beast writes " Ichabod." 

Read you the riddle : who are these 
So naked to their enemies — 

And so possessed of their old phlegm 
That one shall safely spit on them ? 

I will not tell you who they are ; 
It is enough — They lost the war. 



no 



A Rhyme of Gaffer D 



I know the old chap very well, 

He called on us when I was young — 

They sang a hymn and tolled a bell, 

" Friend after friend departs," they sung. 



He took my father somewhat quick, 
He took my brother from his play. 

He took my dog (a dirty trick — 
Though he's the Gaffer, anyway). 



After — I didn't mind of 'im 
A-cuttin' up his grisly capers, 

For years and years, although I'd seem 
To read about 'im in the papers. 



When war broke out, I saw the bills. 

What says, " Your King and Country Need You," 
My 'eart with Rule Britannia fills 

An' whispers, " Go where glory leads you." 



UI 



But though I loved the 'Uns a treat, 
An' would have 'listed brisk an' 'earty, 

I always seemed to get cold feet 
A-thinkin' of that same Old Party. 

Till — well, at last, it had to be, 

My girl, she says, " You'll make me proud ! " 
" Wot about Htn ? " says I. Says she, 

" Sign up, my lad, an' 'zm be blowed ! " 

An' so I signed and so I joined. 

An' learnt my facin's an' my drillin'. 

An' how to wash my ears behind. 
An' always be alert an' willin'. 

An' how to do things at the word. 

An' stamp when 'alted or " attention "-ed, 

An' all the time I never heard 

The Old Chap's name so much as mentioned. 

Our little lot, they say, is " it," 
And not a bunch to stick at trifles. 

In fact for 'ficiency an' grit 

We're next door to the Artists' Rifles. 

An' yet, my friends, twixt you an' me, 
Despite the bluff they feed the boys on. 

The Reg'ment don't Hke Gaffer D 

An', redy, 'ates 'im worse than poison. 



122 



He is the Major's constant dread, 
The fly in the Lieutenant's ointment, 

Even the Colonel, so 'tis said, 

Will meet him only by appointment. 

Oh, he's a wash-out, that Old Gent ! 

If 'tweren't for him, so 'elp me never, 
We'd all of us be well content. 

To fight for 'arth and 'ome for ever ! 

You should ha' seen 'im t'other day, 
A-beckonin' us across the trenches — 

The very corporils knelt to pray. 

An' look at pictures of their wenches ! 

We did our bit — oh yes, we did. 
An' he was in his element — 

He took a toll which can't be hid 
Until the big new draft is sent. 

But still I thank my stars, I does, 
('Appy am I it should be so) 

That though he wasn't kind to us 
He weren't no kinder to the foe. . . . 

You won't get rid of that Old Card, 
Leastways till you've got rid of sin, — 

So here's his 'ealth, say I — the Hard 
Old Chap that spoils the soldierin' ; 

123 



The Chap that mock^ at mothers' prayers, 
And loves to widow the young bride ; 

Yet hurteth only whom he spares, 
And makes the rest most satisfied. 



124 



The Ass 



The enemy without — and he within ! 

You meet him on the stairs of your high tower 

All simpers. At his nose he hath a flower, 

Upon his tongue cheap honey ; and his chin 

Waggeth for ever. If we lose or win — 

Please don't talk war ! The witty luncheon hour. 

The joyous week-end ! Good souls, who could sour 

So bhthe a spirit, or prick so sleek a skin ? 



CheerfuUest wight ! It is his constant whim 
To beam on Fate. All that he asks is love, 
A salad, a glass of wine, music that charms, 
A book, a friend, and " the blue sky above " — 
And underneath, the everlasting arms 
Of them that toil and groan and bleed for him. 



125 



The Diners 



" ^hey died content^'* he said, 

And bent a well-groomed head 

Sweetly above the soup : 

" Ahy splendid lads / " he sighed, 

" And . . . (Waiter !) . . . think ! — they died 

Content / . . . (the cantaloup 

Wasn't quite ripe enough). 

Real top-hole lads and tough ! — 

A lesson for those swine ! — 

(Yes, yes — uncork the wine !) 

" Top-hole, I tell you /—(pish, 
Pm not so keen on fish ! — 
Don't matter — eat it, dear) — 
Beat us ? Good Lord ! No fear ! — 
With lads like that about ! 
(Well, well — they call it trout !) 
Where can you match ^em ? (Oh — 
Pates of riz de veau !) 

" All heroes /—(Gad— that's Jones- 
Wolfing his damned grilled bones — 



126 



Pardon — but really — well — 

Grilled bones for dinner ! . . . " Pell-MeU " ? 

No, darling, let us go 

And see the other show) — 

Our chaps are simply * it ' / — 

{JSIot just the weenie St bit ? 

The waiting here's absurd : 

When will they bring the bird ?) 

" Tlhey died content ! . . . (Don't look — 

There's Mumble and the duke 

And Mrs. M. — Of course 

She does laugh Hke a horse !) — 

7hey died like gentlemen / 

(Chicken ? No — ancient hen ! — 

But still the salad's good) — 

My God— the British blood J 

" Tou very nearly kissed 

^ hat fear Jul Casualty List ? — 

Ah, precious, you^ve a heart ! — 

(What excellent strawberry tart !) — 

Tes, Haig 'j O.K., you bet 

HeHl smother ^em — and yet 

^here must be sacrifice ! — 

(I shouldn't risk the ice !) 

" (Coffee for two — no cream !) 
It all seems like a dream : 
Still, we shall win right through, 
As we were bound to do. . . . 



127 



^hgy died content ! — (Why, sure !- 
Z)jW-ums want its liqueur ? . . . 
And, waiter — that cigar ! 
And, waiter — call the car ! — 
And, waiter — bring the bill ! — 
These * neutrals ' make me ill !) " 



128 



July z, igi6 



We were unprepared, 

We were most unwise ; 

We have been like that 

For centuries — 

But we've taught ourselves a thing or two, 

And we're muddling through. 



Twenty-three months ! 

Twenty-three Men ! 

Oh, the muddle 

And muddle again ! — 

One can't deny it, because it's true — 

But we're muddling through. 



Shells and soldiers. 

Piles and files ; — 

The roar goes up 

On seventy miles : 

We know now what we always knew — 

We shall muddle through ! 

129 



Oh, Banner of ours 

That shines in the wars, 

Oh, excellent bars 

Red, white, and blue. 

With glory in every fold of you- 

We shall muddle through ! 



130 



To the Kaiser 



[With a Child's Drum] 



He was three years old, a mirthful, tumbling wight, 
To see your cohorts pass, he stood at stare. 
Unwitting, but pleased ; and out of his delight 
He laughed you forth a Fiv^ V Angleterrg . 



Boiled the insulted blood in the high veins 

Of the most puissant and invincible 

(Whose fathers, spat upon, remarked " It rains ! ") : 

Your soldier fired — rebellious innocence fell. 



Wherefore we send you. Conqueror, a child's drum, 
And you shall beat upon it as you go 
Bloodily stalking to your crazy doom — 
The plaything of your murdered baby foe. 



131 



I()I2 

[First published in 19 lo] 



Fair and Fair and Fierce, 
Tigress mother of ours, 
Beautiful-browed, deep-thewed 
Passionate mother of ours, 
Hearken ! The drums of doom 
Are beaten at the gate, 
And it is meet that THOU, 
Whose breasts are ice and steel, 
Whose heart is all a fire. 
Should show us frightened eyes, 
And lips becomingly blenched ; 
So say the very wise. 

For when the thrones were made 
Thine, the throne of the thrones. 
Was set in the yeasty seas : 
Built and bastioned and braced, 
A tower of brass, a rock, 
An adamant pyramid, 
A strength unshakeable ; 

132 



And to thy hands were given 

Power and dominion 

Wherever water is salt, 

Wherever a shipboy sings, 

Wherever ships may ride ; 

So that the seas of the world 

Though they be seventy times seven, 

Are English seas, and thine ; 

Whether it be the harsh 

And bitter seas of the north, 

Flurried by little winds. 

And pushed by piping gales 

Against the winking stars ; 

Or the still blue middle seas ; 

Or where the daffodil moon 

Slips down an amethyst sky 

To walk with silver feet 

On the Southern, soft lagoons, 

It is the English sea. . . . 

Who is this that waits 
By the weary Baltic shore. 
By the kneeHng Baltic shore, 
With shrouded arm and hand, 
And a hand whereon there gleams 
A glove of impudent mail ? 
Behind him stretch afar 
The pleasant, placid spas. 
Fattened with English aches ; 
And the four-three factories, 

133 



And the reek of the dumper's fires, 

And the pretty river Rhine 

(Which owes so much to Cooks), 

And rows, and rows, and rows 

Of flat-head soldier men. 

And the works of Schichau and Krupp, 

And for a sign in the blue, 

The tender himmelblau. 

The good, grey Count's balloons ! 

Do you know this singular Lord, 
This humorous, hearty Prince, 
Whose cry is " Peace, Peace, Peace," 
Abroad, and at home " War, War " ; 
Who preaches through the day 
With olive twigs in his hair. 
And rises in the night 
To fan the secret forge ; 
Who says, " Why should we fight ? 
Prithee, why should we fight ? 
What cause have we to fight ? 
Are we not friends, please God, 
And Customers ? . . . My glass 
Is raised to you and Peace 
Hurra, Hurra, Hurra ! " 

Who says again, " My arms 
Must flourish on the seas, 
My arms and mine alone 
If you wish a place in the sun ; 
As for the one in our path 



The one whom we all so love, 
By nineteen hundred and twelve 
I shall be ready for HER ! ! 
I have promised you your Day — 
Hurra, Hurra, Hurra ! " 

It is nineteen hundred and ten 

And the Seas are English seas, 

They will be EngHsh seas 

Till they shall give up Drake 

And the thousand English hearts 

Which have made rich the depths : 

Until they shall be rolled 

Together like a scroll 

They shall be English seas. 

We sleep sound in our beds ; 

We fear no fist of mail ; 

We fear no withered arm ; 

We are not afraid of Krupp 

Nor yet of Blohm and Voss. 

We wish you the Devil's joy 

Of all you have hidden and built ; 

It is nineteen hundred and ten. 

We have simple words for you : 

In the English history books 

There is Eighteen Hundred and Five ; 

We say to you when you pray, 

Thank Heaven if we do not write 

In the English history books 

With beautiful German blood 

Nineteen Hundred and Twelve. 



135 



Towards the Reckon 



tng 



With tongue of oil and breath of myrrh 
They bid us turn the other cheek, 
And mark the blessing for the meek, 

The mourner and the peacemaker. 

They counsel, " Love your enemies ; 

Do good to them who bear you hate ; 

Agree thou quickly ! " and they prate 
Of being, with the great wisdom, wise. 

" Of Eye for Eye and Tooth for Tooth 
None righteously exacts the debt ; 
It is forbidden ! " they say — and yet 

They publish only half the truth. 

And by their speech the grinning Host 

Which hath Blasphemed takes lease to live. 
Harden our hearts, lest we forgive 

The Sin against the Holy Ghost ! 



136 



Verdun 



" One shall be taken and the other left " — 
'Tis so with men, and even so with forts ; 
One falls, another stands — the strong cohorts 
Beat vainly on it in rage of divers sorts — 

One shall be taken and the other left. 



One shall be taken and the other left — 

Behold the Bride that singeth through the gloom, 
And waiteth still with scorn the German groom, 
And fears not to be given away by Doom ! — 

One shall be taken and the other left. 



One shall be taken and the other left — 
O eyes of Hell and fronts of bloody brass, 
France, by her Lilies, sweareth ye may not pass 
Unto her — though the bar were brittlest glass ! — 

One shall be taken and the other left. 



137 



The Dublin Rising 



Our right — and your old wrongs. 

With men's and angels' tongues 
We did discourse. Alas — 
The tinkling cymbal and the sounding brass ! 



We " ruled." You mourned and planned. 

We had gifts to understand 
All knowledge, all dreams, all star-sad mystery ; 
Mountains we moved, while you made prophecy. 



We doubted not. Your Eyes 

Were set on Paradise. 
Yet always, and most grievously. 
Both of us missed the " greatest " of " these three." 



138 



II 



Your fair dead — our fair dead. 

Now, by each fallen head 
And each rebuking wraith, 
Swear we another Faith. 



Your night of tears — our night. 

But, by the unquenchable Light 
Toward which, blindly, we grope, 
Behold, another Hope ! 



Our agony — and yours. 

Yea, by the Passionate Hours 
And the Exceeding Bitter Cry, 
Do we still lack ... the Charity ! 



139 



Wounded 

Back again ! Back again ! Out o* blood and mud and rain ; 
Out o* gun-sound . . . God a'mighty ! 
Out o' Blazes and home to " Blighty " ! — 
Broke right up and full o' pain, 
But back again — back again \ 

Back again ! Back again ! By an extry special train 
With the Red Cross on the panels — 
Snuggled in me nice new flannels — 
Like the blinkin' King o' Spain — 
Back again ! Back again ! 

Back again ! Back again ! Clapham Junction plain as 

plain ! — 
Just as grimy, just as gloomy, 
Just as home-like, and as roomy — 
Dead on time — we can*t complain — 
Back again ! Back again ! 

Back again ! Back again ! Waterloo and rows o' men 
Down the platform standing ready 
For to lift us quick and steady — 



«40 



Nurses smiling — " How's the pain ? " 
Back again ! Back again ! 

Back again ! Back again ! London town and home again- 
Never knew how much they loved us, — 
In the ambulance they've shoved us — 
Nearly numbered with the slain 
But back again — back again ! 



141 



Come Young Lads First 



Sergeant went a-walking 

Wi' ribbons in his cap, 
" Ho-ho," says he, " His Majesty 

Wants just another chap, 
An' as 'tis plain, for married men 

He no more cares a rap, 

Come young lads first ! " 

Wherefore the bairn I suckled 
Goes now in khaki drest ; 

So young is he, that he med be 
Still cosy from my breast ; 

But he marches with his chin up 
An' his chest out, like the rest, 
Come young lads first ! 

Old Squire says, " Oh yes, oh yes, 
'Twill do him worlds of good " ; 

An' parson says that losing bairns 
If rightly understood 

Is blessed, an' 'tis sweet, he says. 

For th' King to shed your blood — 
Come young lads first ! 

142 



" Abram," he says, " gave Isaac, 

As writ in Holy Word, 
An' Mary broke the precious box 

At the feet of our dear Lord ; 
So you must give your boy," he says, 

" To carry England's sword. 

Come young lads first 1 " 

They speak you fair do gentlemen, 

But not more fair or free 
Than my young son, who's just the one 

His father used to be ; 
And when I said he med get killed 

He angers up at me, 

" Come young lads first ! " 

For he's no lad that hides his mind 

An' he's no lad that feigns ; 
An' while he spoke my heart came back 

As easy of its pains 
As when his father courted me 

Along the scented lanes — 

Come young lads first ! 

A woman has her love (it is 

Her glory and her crown) 
Which many waters cannot quench 

An' the great floods cannot drown ; 
But men have that which passes love 

When they hear the bugles blown — 
Come young lads first ! 

H3 



An' so the bairn I suckled 
Goes now in khaki drest, 

So young is he, that he med be 
Still cosy from my breast ; 

An' he marches with his chin up 
An' his chest out, Hke the rest- 
Come young lads first ! 



144 



The Rhyme of the Beast 



Lo, the Beast that rioteth, 
Sick with hate and coveting- 

To the sons of men he saith, 
I will show you a new thing. 



This, the Earth, which was the Lord's, 

Prodigal of rose and vine, 
I will desolate with swords 

Till it own that it is mine. 



Every brow must bear my brand 
Every wrist must wear my steel, 

Every throat be for my hand. 
Every neck be for my heel. 



I will thrust into your souls 

Unnamed terrors and despairs- 
Populate the air with ghouls 
And the sea with murderers. 

H5 



While I prove that war is war, 

Saints shall mourn and angels weep, 

Star commiserate with star, 

Deep cry out to shuddering deep ; 



Tigers marvel in their lust 
At the tale of blood and pain, 

Pity move the insensate dust, 
And the very stones complain. 



I will twist the tongue of Truth 
Till her speech be nought but lies, 

I will kill the faith of Youth, 
And the hope in Age's eyes. 



Not the altar, nor the tomb. 
Nor the Sufferer on the Tree, 

Nor the babe within the womb 
Shall be sacred unto me. 



I will rend and rage and cog, 
Rob and ravish till I die ; 

I will be the Supreme Hog, 
And the world shall be my sty. 



146 



Gaudi 



eamu^ 



" Our whole High Seas Fleet, without any aid from coast 
batteries, has delivered a victorious blow against the most 
powerful navy in the world, . . . The great sea fight so 
eagerly expected on both sides in the North Sea for twenty- 
two months has been fought out." — Tageblatt. 



This is your " victory " ! 

We who brook no defeat, 
On any sea, 

Being of the old sea-mind, 
Smile the sea-smile, and find 
Our very losses sweet. 



Of your " victorious blow " 
We give you the full joy : 
Be glad ! We know 

Our strengths majestical- 
Our every admiral, 
Our every sailor boy. 

147 



Yet is it not " fought out " : 

Lick you your wounds, good friends, 
And shout and shout — 
You will not shake 
Nelson, or Hood, or Drake, 
Or the appointed ends. 



148 



For Whom it may Concern 



Ye know that Freedom from her height 
Laughs on the world in Fate's despite : 

Here is her comfort set : — 

England is England yet. 



Ye know that all the fronts of War 
Shine with the effulgent English star ; 
Ye know whose is the blood 
That baffled and withstood 



Old tyrants ; and full well ye know 
There never can be shock or blow 
To hurt more than a reed 
The panoply of your breed. 



How shall you in such armour girt 
Palter behind a woman's skirt, 
Or that man's pledge, or this 
Man's broken promises ? 



49 



While the slipped flower of the race 
Comports him in the veteran's place — 
His shroud (oh, Fearlessness !) 
Worn like a wedding dress. 



You will not grieve those emulous dead 

Boy heritors of goodlihead, 

Who haply loved their lives 
Much as you love your wives. 



150 



In the Train 



There's a soldier, 
By gad! Yes !— 

See her gi' me 
That there kiss ? — 



All the people 
Crowdin' by : 

An' her a maid 
As shy as shy ! — 



Kiss'd me fair 

An' plain an' free 
Before the blessed 

Company — 



Whisper'd when 
I bent my head — 

Mustn't tell you 
What she said ! 

151 



Little 'un, 

But very smart, 
Stands no higher 

Than my heart ! 

An* that straight 
An' unafraid, — 

Like a corporal 
On parade ! 

Smiles, an' loves you 
With her eyes : 

Steadies you, 
And keeps you wise 

Learns you all 

There is to know : 
Makes you feel 

It's good to go ! 



Women's funny — 

So they are ! 
But who taught 'em 

About war ? 

Where'd they learn 
Their bit of drill ? 

Who is it took 'em 
Through the mill ? 



And gave 'em grit 
Enough for ten. 

An' sense to share it 
With the men ? 

An' made 'em so 
They'd rather die 

Than let a soldier 
See 'em cry ? 

An' gives 'em strength 
And nerve and grace 
To look the postman 
In the face ? 



Oh, don't forget it, 

Mother's son — 
They're soldiers, soldiers 

Every one ! 

Soldiers loving 
Them that's gone, 

Soldiers, soldiers 
" Holding on "— 

Proudest Regiment 

Ever known, — 
Let us call 'em 

" The Lord's Own." 

153 



Then 



The parson to the padre said, 

" Once, in a book, these words I read : 

* If any man take thy coat ; why, go 
And offer him thy cloak also.' " 



I heard the lump of shrapnel drone 

At midnight in the shattered bone : 

" Let us remember that sweet verse 
Which bids us bless who brings the curse.'* 



And from his grave one calleth clear : 
" When I come home again, my dear, 

And my head on your bosom lies, 
We will forgive our enemies." 

154 



Slain 



Dulce ei decorum est pro patria mori 



You who are still and white 

And cold like stone ; 
For whom the unfailing light 

Is spent and done ; 

For whom no more the breath 
Of dawn, nor evenfall 

Nor Spring, nor love, nor death 
Matter at all ; 

Who were so strong and young 

And brave and wise. 
And on the dark are flung 

With darkened eyes ; 

Who roystered and caroused 

But yesterday. 
And now are dumbly housed 

In stranger clay ; 

155 



Who valiantly led, 

Who followed valiantly, 
Who knew no touch of dread 

Of that which was to be ; 



Children that were as nought 

Ere ye were tried, 
How have ye dared and fought, 

Triumphed and died ! 



Yea, it is very sweet 

And decorous 
The omnipotent Shade to meet 

And flatter thus. 



156 



MISCELLANEOUS PIECES 



Mulier 



I saw a flake 

Of the burning lake 

Caught in an angel breath. 

And blown upon 

Until it shone 

Brighter than love and death 



Through the dark it sped 
Like a star that bled 
A-kindle ; and I knew 
That heaven and hell, 
O, Miracle, 
Had made the soul of you. 



159 



From the Chimney Corner 



When we are dead 

And newly buried, 

The worm, 'tis said 

Out of a pity doth creep 

Unto the ear of our sleep, 

And with her Httle voice 

Singeth a note or so, 

As near 's she can like the lark. 

To help us in the dark : 

Saying, " Rejoice, rejoice, 

For all shall yet be well ! " 

From Death who is terrible 

(Yet hath no sting), 

And from the grave 

Which bindeth us 

(Yet hath no victory), 

Physicians might not save 

Old parson. Thus, 

He lay 

Down in the churchyard clay ; 



i6o 



And I have heard folk say- 
That on the second day 
The kind worm passeth that way 
And sidleth up to him, 
And doth her best to sing, 
Saying, " Be unafraid, 
'Tis mortal lonesome here, 
Meanly thy bed is made, 
Thou lack'st both light and cheer 
And shalt, for many a year : 
Yet lift up th' heart — endure, 
For the reward is sure ! '* — 

* Um," sniffs old parson, " two of a trade ! " 



i6i 



The Witling 



An old poor rogue went down to the Ferry, 
Merry as merry. 

" Tho' some do die on the gallows tree, 

God send they dye a good colour ! " quoth he. 

" For just as many years they'll be dead 
As who died snug i' the 'spital bed ! 

" And Moll and Doll and the Pope of Rome 
La^ la — each goeth the same way home 1 

" And as for doleful dumps, why — drat 'em ! — 
As Misery sang — * Cheer up for Chatham ! ' " 



162 



II 



" Boatman, thou tarriest," he saith, 

" 'Tes piercin' here by thy black staith ; 

" And I ha' found nor crust nor apple 
Since yon loon got me by the thrapple. 

" Nor brandy-wine is brought to cheer me- 
A dead man hath small luck, I fear me. 

" Boatman, what meaneth thy ill look ? 
Why burns the ripple thou hast strook ? 

" Why is the hand thou touchest me with 
Unkinder than was that of Death ? " 



163 



The Little Old Knife 



With my little old Knife 

I killed the paramour ; 

Her bosom was a soft flower, 

She had a girdle of vair 

And ruby combs in her hair : 
" Come hither," calls she, " thou old wife," 

Flirting her fan in the bower, 
" And pick up our kerchy," calls she ; 

" An 't please you, madam," quod I — 

" And, madam . . . once only we die 

So here's good once for ye 

And everlasting rest — 
Both from my little old knife ! " 



With my little old knife— 

Ahey ! she looked and smiled 

Like a sleepy three-year child. 

And gaped, and drooped, and was dead ; 

Only a trickle of red 

Slipt down her heavenly breast : 

" Thus endeth," quod I, " a strife. 



164 



An ache, a fragrance, a power, 
A shame, a wisdom, a mesh, 
A passion and rose of flesh, 

All finished at my hour 

And all with my little old knife ! " 



165 



Thames 



River of rivers, that dost lave the might 
And pomps and ships of England ; if the white 
Dawns be upon thee, or thou goest dight 
In armour of the sun ; or where at night 
With mirrored stars and lamps of chrysolite, 
Thou wooes t this London to the ancient plight, 
Thou shalt be goodly for the English sight 
And proud till Time shall falter in his flight. 

Tiber, Euphrates, Tmolus from the height, 
Tigris and Nilus, streams of old delight. 
And Abbana and Pharphar which were bright 
For queens by swart Damascus — these invite 
Words from the dreamer and the Abderite ; 
But thou art Thames — glorious in their despite. 



i66 



The Ragle 



They have him in a cage 

And little children run 

To offer him well-meant bits of bun, 

And very common people say, " My word ! 

Ain't he a 'orrible bird ! " 

And the smart, " How absurd ! 

Poor, captive, draggled, downcast lord of the air ! " 

Steadfast in his despair, 
He doth not rage ; 
But with unconquerable eye 
And soul aflame to fly, 
Considereth the sun. 



167 



Sigillum 



With thunder shod 
The hills be trod 
That the children of God 
Should quake at his nod ; 
He had bolt and rod 
For angel and clod 
And he wrote on their foreheads ," Ichabod." 

And in his eyes 
Was enterprise 
Still to devise 
Smooth subtleties 
And perjuries 
For the King of Flies ; 
And goodness and truth were his enemies. 

We toil and spin, 
Held by the gin 
And web of sin 
He catcheth us in — 
This prance, this grin 
With the felon chin — 
This Heads-you-lose-and-tails-I-win I 



i68 



Cromweh 

" ^he damned Psalm-singing old humbug " 

He had the heart of love, 
The heart of love and steel, 
The unshaken English heart 
That can be merciless, 
That can be merciful. 



He looked upon the State 

And saw that it was foul. 

" It shall be cleansed," he said, 

" Straightway it shall be cleansed : 

Yea, even with tears and blood I " 



The People loved him not. 
The Princes mocked at him ; 
With Sword and Book he strode 
Among them like a tower ; 
" / am your Lord," he said. 



169 



He woke the people's strength 
To know itself and fear 
No other strengths that were ; 
For Princes of all time 
He read the lesson out. 



For England hath he set 
The way, the immutable plan, 
The rule of Empery : 
" If ye would rule abroad 
Be fitly ruled at home." 



170 



To the Little Muse 



Out of the light of the age, 
An age of superior things, 
I call unabashed unto thee 
O little Muse of the Valley. 



Scorn for the simple pipe, 

The trivial, trite tune 

That a man may make in his youth, 

Is the fashion with all the world ; 



A fashion dear to the cheap 
Young supercilious scribe, 
Also to wits and wags 
And every honest fool. 



So that thy numerous sons. 
Sired by the windy Spring, 
Bristle, or blush, or blench 
At a hint of their parentage. 

171 



But little Muse of ours, 

They err who have shame in thee 

And grievously do they err 

Who bandy thy name when they scoff. 



For comely art thou, and wise 
And affluent of heart ; 
White are thy feet by the brooks 
And pleasant thy voice in the vines. 



Thy Sister, the beautiful-brow'd 
Calm friend of them that endure, 
Loveth thee from her heights, 
And wherefore not we, who are naught ? 



172 



Audrey 



Audrey knoweth naught of books, 
Naught to captivate the wise ; 

But the soul of goodness looks 
Through the quiet of her eyes. 



She can bake and she can knit, 
Cunningly she wields the broom. 

All her pleasure is to sit 

In a neatly order'd room. . . . 



Touchstone, shaping a career. 
Shines at each exclusive house : 

" Such a clever man, my dear. 
Tied to — just * a country mouse ' ! 



" Married ere he dream'd of us^ 
Ere he knew what gifts he had — 

Strange that Fate should yoke him thus^ 
And very, very, very sad ! " 



173 



Touchstone (let them mark it well), 
When the social round is trod, 

Bored by dame and demoiselle. 
Goes home softly, thanking God. 



174 



The Yeoman 



Across the counties came the sound 
Of war-drums that his fathers knew ; 

He had no heart for horse or hound, 
He said, " Am I not English too ? " 



All the old ardours in his blood 

Leapt hke the flame from smitten steel. 
And, to himself revealed, he stood 

A buttress of the common weal. 



So that if cities %vf^ their pride 
To strengthen England's righteous arm, 

Men, too, are bred by countryside 
And quiet grange and folded farm. 



1899 



175 



The Finer Spirit 



I 



I saw the painted worlds go by, 

And wonder'd what great good could lie 

Beneath that dreadful pageantry. 

What lamp of excellent brimming light 
Hath kept the immemorial night, 
And watches on, in Time's despite ? 



What soul of saving sweetness lends 
The affable touch to things, and blends 
That which begins and that which ends ? 



II 



And one, whose look shone kindness, ran 
And fetch'd his sheaf of charts — the plan 
" Mark'd out," he said, " by God for Man. 



176 



" Look thou ! Thus far, and thus, the cleat 
Seas sparkle ; thou mayst pray, and steer 
Thy craft with knowledge here, and here ; 

" But by the vasty marges loom 
God's well-set darknesses ; the womb 
Bears not the man that skills this gloom." 



Ill 



Another, wisely, " We are sure 

Of consciousness and some small store 

Of facts, as * two and two make four.' 

" So nerved and lamp'd may Reason spell 
The systems out, and learn to tell 
The purport of the inmost cell ; 

" But ever as she goes, she sees 
In new and old simplicities 
The old, invincible mysteries." 



IV 

Also another, " Wine and wheat 
And oil have we, and liberal heat 
Of faithful suns ; our pulses beat 

177 



" With warmth and warm affections — Love 
The chief — and like a blessed dove 
Joy winnows round us as we move ; 

" And solace cometh for the stroke 
And strength to render dear the yoke — 
These are enough for honest folk." 



Yet who, that waits for happier skies, 
Or searches with assiduous eyes, 
Or dreams among the butterflies, 

Hath never felt the effulgence full 
From off the face of things, and all 
The sweetness sicken into gall ? 

Hath never heard the implacable blast 
Crying afar through void and vast. 
And stood up shuddering and aghast ? 



VI 

Yon planet, set out lustrously 
Upon the tinted dawn, may be 
Some dull immutable agony, 

178 



Heavy with hideousness, and fell 
And terrible tribes that quake and yell 
For ever on the slags of hell ; 

Creatures to whom death is a vain 

Vague legend of the prime, ere pain 

Bore down and smote them heart and brain. 



VII 

And this dear earth of green and grey 
And gold and blue — our broad highway 
And pleasant inn whereat we stay 

As travellers lighted luckily 
On goodly cheer and company 
And chambers lavendered — may be 

Out of the placid ages come 
With all its load of life and bloom 
Jump to the verge of some wild doom. 



VIII 

She called to me across the flood 

Of finish'd years, " Believe thy blood 

Which runs a living faith in good ! " 

179 



She called to me out of the still 
And molten noon, " Believe thy will 
Which, having force, would banish ill ! " 

She called to me out of the day- 
Next to be born, " Believe the clay 
Which sends up goodness from decay ! 



IX 



" Here is the earnest to make whole 

The parted circlet of the soul, 

To crown thy mirth and star thy dole ; 

" Here is the essence that hath kept 
The centuries sweet, and raced and leapt 
In veins that withered, eyes that wept ; 

" Here is the jewel for the brow 
The beam to set the light aglow 
And to enrose the pinnacled snow. 



" I am the crimson of the rose, 

The fair quick flame the crocus shows. 

The spice that with the blossom goes, 

1 80 



" The witchery of the thrush's tune, 
The surge of March, the flash of June, 
The marvel of the reapers' moon, 

" And where the winter aches in white 
And mists, I haunt the doubtful light 
While dwindling suns loom red and bright ; 



XI 



" I am the strength of all the dead, 
The wisdom and the goodlihead 
And pith of what they did and said ; 

" I am the beauty that hath stood 

Bodied, like a beautitude 

In soft, calamitous womanhood 

" From the beginning ; and the Rest 
Of Saints am I, and all the blest 
Rapture of bosoms babes have press'd ; 



XII 

" And Man, the spirit and the dust 
The god that wears the chains, and must 
Be still the creature, and still trust 



i8i 



" He is not wholly fool and slave, 
And live half angel and half knave 
To sup with Death and fat the grave ; 

" Man that is nothing, yet divine 
Sifting the creeds for one sure sign 
Hath sureness in a look of mine ! " 



182 



Materiel 



Since wheels for the breaking of bone 

And hooks for the tearing of flesh, 

And pully and rack 

And screws to crack 

Sinew and joint are forgone ; 

Shall Torture fail of her own 

And lose the admired moan 

Of thrice-slain agony, 

Or miss from her ancient mesh 

The victim fair and fresh ? 

Nay, by the Rood, not she ! 

Ablaze with glittering skill. 
On floors of anguish, still 
Plieth she pincer and bowl, 
And she hath profuse prey ; 
And all night and all day. 
Though bodies go safe and whole, 
She thanks God for the soul. 



183 



Strike 



Of trivial tide and chance, 

And dribs of circumstance, 

Flourish and feint and threat, 

Swords that are never wet, 

Daggers which only scratch. 

Springes not made to catch, 

Faleshood none uttereth, 

Mumblings of quick apology 

For prettily hinted infamy. 

And dirty hands in nice clean genteel gloves. 

Sick was he unto death. 

Dear knows. 

He hath seen his share 

Of fribbles and fret 

And seeming overthrows ; 

Hence sayeth he this prayer 

To men and destiny : 

Let me he stricken fair 

With infallacious blows. 



184 



Iris and the Water-Ljilies 



All hidden like a jewel 'mid great hills 
There lies a clear-eyed lake, girt round with shade 
Of willow and green hazel, and behind. 
Forests of oak and fir stretch out and climb 
Unto the topmost sunshine of the heights. 



Here at the narrower end, a narrow arm 
Runs deep into the shadows of the wood. 
Losing itself in reedy lonesomeness ; 
Dark wilding weeds, lovers of glamour, creep 
Along its shallow edges, and, in mid-stream 
Like faery shallops waiting for moonrise, 
A fleet of pallid water-lilies sleeps. 



At daybreak, when the lake was flushed and strewn 
With red, and gold, and purple ; and the wood 
Shimmer'd with opal tintings, hither came 
The wind-footed Iris — Juno's messenger — 
Bound on her Autumn task to kill the bloom ; 



185 



Upon her brow duskily beat and throbbed 
Three lambent starlets, and her filmy hair 
Stream'd in a shining tangle after her. 
Like starshine from a star, ethereally, 
Or as some sweet soul drifting in bliss, she slid 
Down the hushed dawn to where those lilies were ; 
And seeing them in their white loveliness. 
Cold, pallid, pure, she hovered over them. 
And smiled upon them, as a mother smiles 
Upon her sleeping children. Then the thought 
That she must slay them, even as the rest, 
Shot through her being like sharp agony. 
And lifting up her voice in golden speech. 
She cried upon the queen of gods and men : 

" Juno, in thy heaven. 

Give ear and pity me ; 
Lo, my young heart is riven 

With this I do for Thee, 
Wherefore I pray a respite from my task. 

" In valleys where the sun 

Had pitched his golden tent. 
As by their beauty won 

And bound to sloth, he meant 
To rest himself from travel evermore ; 

" Vales where the white dove's wing 
Smote ever golden airs. 



1 86 



And she that doth so sing 

Mounting her sunny stairs 
Met neither cloud nor shadow all the way ; 



" Over the quiet top 

Of a thyme-laden hill, 
Where drowsy bees did drop 

Into cool cups, to fill 
Their pouches, or to loiter out the hours ; 



" Where upward from the corn 

The reapers' voices rang, 
And on the airs were borne 

Light songs the maidens sang 
In the hill-vineyards as the hours slipt past — 

" Thither I went to tear 

The glory from men's sight 
And over all that's fair 

Have cast the seed of blight ; 
And this my deed shall bring me naught but pain. 



" For the sweet days will pass. 

The sun will leave his camp. 
The dead leaves rot i' the grass. 

The airs wax chill and damp, 
The white dove shiver and the lark grow dumb ; 



187 



" And they that reaped the corn 

And laughed among the vines, 
Shall crouch themselves forlorn, 

Soon as the frostwork shines 
And wish the sun-time were come back again. 



" Therefore, I pray thee, give 

These lilies of the lake. 
Yet further days to live. 

So that the world may make 
Some solace of them when all else is dead. 



" And if thou wilt not — why 

I break my faith with thee ! 
These are not meet to die 

Being so fair to see. 
And they shall live for any touch of mine ! " 



Straightway the sun was darkly cast in clouds 
The gloom brought rain and lightning, and a wind 
Sprang up and wandered wailing round the woods ; 
The fisher at the far end of the lake 
Heard troubled cries, toss'd on the fretful air, 
And putting forth, and coming to the arm, he saw 
One hovering like a glory round the lilies ; 
And as he looked the rain was past and done. 
And seven slant sunbeams piercing thro' the shade, 



1 88 



Beat on her form, which, like a richer light, 

Passed into them, and flushed them with soft hues, 

Rose-blush, rare azure, and all fairy tints ; 

So that a shaft of painted mist arose 

From where she had been ; and as he turned away. 

Behold ! a rainbow stretched across the lake. 



189 



Brandenburg 



Old duke, with the long white beard, 
Of what woe art thou afeared ? 

What unplumbed and deathly wound 
Gapes unto thine eyes profound ? 

What disastrous blaze of wing 
Smoulders in thy ruby ring ? 

From thy cup gleams what disgrace 
From they napkin what dismays ? 

Like a dreamer answereth he 
" It is one shall follow me, 

" Without virtue, without lust, 
A bowellessness, a painted dust 

" Perk'd up in our powerful seats 
For a race of liars and cheats, 

" Whom he knoweth not to contemn — 
Cozening, and not ruling them ! " 

190 



To John Bunyan 



John, it was sweet of thee to be a tinker, 
For poor men need a trade ; 

And of all trades that picture well with art, John- 
Intuitive, innocent art, John — 
It is the tinker's. 



And it was sweet of thee to go to gaol, John, 
Even unto Bedford Gaol : 
Why may not all of us forthwith repair, John, 
To some such sunless fastness. 

And dream large dreams, John ? 



And sweet it was of thee to make and write, John, 
A sweet and decent book 

Which hath an honest savour, like good bread, John, 
And keeps the general palate ; though their fictions 
Do come, and go, John. 



191 



Ah ! who would not, to author such another, 

Take thy extremity, 
Thy petty craft ; thy " gross, implacable " doctrine ; 
Yea, even a threadbare " treatise-dowered " spouse, John, 

And thank his stars, John ? 



192 



Epitaph 



If I should ever be in England's thought 

After I die, 
Say, " There were many things he might have bought 

And did not buy. 



" Unhonoured by his fellows he grew old 

And trod the path to hell, 
But there were many things he might have sold 

And did not sell." 



\, 



193 



Christmas 



The Baby of Bethlehem 

Lay in a manger, 

And the Wise Men and the Kings came 

To give him gold and frankincense 

And myrrh ; 

And Mary, his mother, bent over him. 

And he had a star for his own, 

Which shone white and fair in the East. 

And they have called his name 

The Prince of Peace ; 

And in his name 

Men have cast out devils, 

And handled serpents. 

And ruled the people, 

And builded glories and greatness, 

And died very comfortably. 

And you of Babylon 
Shall consider Him now 
Stark, where He stands — 
The Man of Sorrows 

194 



And Acquainted with Grief, 
The Light of the World- 
Shivering outside the halls 
Wherein you make feasts for Him. 



195 



The Christmas Tree 



Far off in yon blue Palestine 

His star, His star, doth tremble and shine. 

O little Baby fair to see, 

Bless these branches for Thy tree, 



And these twinkling lights whose flame 
Is spent to glorify Thy Name, 
And these children, whose bright eyes 
Are a perpetual sacrifice ! 



196 



Graves in France 



Once there was a little moon 
That look'd down on Gfolgotha 
And three crosses ranged there 
And the burdens which they bare : 
Naught might hurt or trouble her, 
Wise as wise and fair as fair. 



O thou silver little moon, 
Miles and miles of Golgotha 
Now are spread to thy still stare : 
And the myriad crosses there 
Glimmer on the evening air, 
Wise as wise and fair as fair. 



197 



The Lonely Man 



For him 

There were no Springs, 

No tender green, no blue, nor living gold, 

No rose of holy white, 

No blessed rose of red. 

No glory of love or death. 



The foolish and the faint 

Set many marks on him ; 

The foolish and the faint 

Were easy, and they laughed. 

The Fool said, " Here is one 

Less than myself " ; 

The Faint said, " Here is one 

Fainter than I ; 

Wherefore lay on, 

And may the Lord be praised ! " 



So that his bread was dust. 
And his drink bitterness. 

19S 



And his delight went past him, 

And he died 

Cheated, and bowed, and dumb. 



And when the Worlds, 

That are as sand and sand 

Upon the winds of Time, 

Dropp'd and were quiet, 

I looked athwart the broken battlement 

And saw his grey soul beating up the dawn 



199 



The Admiring Admirer 



A daw that went in feathers not his own 

Sought out the opulent bird he had them from, 
And cried, " Behold, the plumage thou hast strown 
To glory come ! " 

Whereon the other, " That thou shouldst aspire 
So stuck with wastage keeps thee in our love ; 
They steal Jove's thunder and they steal his fire 
Yet hurt, not Jove." 



200 



Recipe 



Chidden still murmurs, 
Slapped and Rapped complain, 
Hurt, with a thousand tongues. 
Whines out his pain. 

This is the learning 
Unto which we come : 
Properly walloped 
Is for ever dumb. 



201 



In Harness 

[After W. E. Henley] 

At the sultry hour of midnight, 
When we keep the door propped open 
For the little boys with " flimsy " 
I can hear our presses whirring. 

Whirling, whirring, in a rhythm, 
Steady, rational, persistent ; 
Churning out the first edition, 
To illuminate the counties. 

Like the noise of many waters 
Broken on a weir of tea-trays, 
Is the sound — a choppy droning : 
And it rather soothes one's heart-strings. 

Yet, at times, I can't help thinking 
How much of my life goes whirring. 
Whirling, whirring, whir, whir, whirring 
With the whirring of those presses. 



202 



The Good Conceit 

[After W. E. Henley] 

Out of the cloud that covers me 

And blots the stars and seldom lifts, 

I thank whatever gods may be 
For my indubitable gifts. 

Under the whip, upon the setts, 
Men drive me many a galling mile ; 

My stock of editors' regrets 

Would fill a barrow, but — / smile. 

Fast by this trade of wind and wit 
I mean to hold till life be done. 

And every year I stay in it 

Finds, and shall find me, tugging on. 

It matters not how stiff and sheer 
The climb — ^how difficult the sum, 

I am the man they've got to hear ! 
I am the man that's bound to come ! 

July 1899 

203 



October 21 



Dreams that shine for England still 
Like a city on a hill — 
Glory snatch'd from old dead woe, 
Names of battles long ago ! 



Yea, with panoply of gold. 
Pomps and glitterings manifold, 
Shine they forth like happy stars 
On the midnight of the wars. 



Dreams that heal the banner*s rents, 
Dreams that fire the regiments, 
Dreams that are for English eyes 
Smoke of the sweet sacrifice. 



Age-old tales of Chivalry 
Clearing still its place to die. 
Sturdy pikes, stout halberdiers 
Conquering through the misty years. 

204 



Great grey galleons, saucy sloops, 
Proud-eyed men on haughty poops- 
One of them, with breast ablaze, 
Dies for England all her days ! 



205 



Thou 



'Tis thine to give, 
And thine to scorn ; 
So shalt thou live 
And reign and mourn. 

When all is done 

Fate worketh thee no ill, 

Leaving thee still 

Thy skill, 

Thy furious wise will. 

And they heart of stone. 



The End 



PRINTED AT KNIGHT'S, WEST NORWOOD 



James Elroy Flecker 





'T^HE Collected Poems. In one 
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so mellow, so rounded, so master- 
ful and secure, and of such 
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literature dubious of itself and 
without formulated principles." 

The 'Nation, 



Ford Madox HuefFer 




'T^HE Collected Poems . In one volume, 
demy 8vo, price 6s. net. 

"Such a poem as * To all the Dead* 
is a pageant of history which enthrals 
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figure is sharply visualized. Poems like 
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have the same haunting power of 
marrying past and present, the dream 
and the reality. Mr. Hueffer, too, has 
his moments of tenderness, when he is 
wholly charming. *To Christina and 
Katharine at Christmas ' and ' The Old 
Faith to the Converts * are so perfect of 
their kind that we dare not detach a 
stanza for quotation." — Spectator. 



Collected Poemj 

of 

T. W. H. 

Crosland 

a 

Martin Seeker 



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